Monday, July 16, 2012

NE News! July 11, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

We enjoyed another warm and wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! While last week we were glad to have air conditioning keep us cool on the inside as outside temperature soared above 100 degrees, this week our air conditioning broke and it really was warm! What a blessing Patrick Parsaca was able to fix the problem himself! Isn’t God good? Yes He is! Amen! Thank you to everyone who faithfully stayed for the worship service despite the heat!
Do you believe God can do amazing, extraordinary things to build His Kingdom through the efforts of ordinary man or woman? Nehemiah teaches us God can do much to build with ordinary folks who remember His promises and act!
God’s message this week was titled, ‘Researched, Ready, and Ridiculed’ and came from Nehemiah 2:11-20. If we are to face and rebuild broken people and places, we need to first minimize our past and focus on the present and future. In 2:11 Nehemiah uses 4 words to describe his journey to Jerusalem. While some of us prefer to live or glorify the past, Nehemiah quickly moves on. If we want to face and rebuild broken people and places we need leave our past in the past!
Second, beginning with v. 12 Nehemiah researches the brokenness intimately and personally before he starts the repair. Nehemiah discovered the wall was in far worse shape than he thought, but all of the materials necessary to do the job were available. We would be wise to do the same. If we want to face and rebuild broken people and places, we need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us complete a fearless moral inventory and ask Him to expose the fullness of the problem.
Third, we discover in vv. 2:17-18 God the Holy Spirit in His grace had gone before to prepare the hearts of the Israelites with a readiness to respond. Even in their sin, these vulnerable and broken people responded immediately when Nehemiah asked them to begin rebuilding! Why? Because the Holy Spirit had gone before and begun preparing them to respond! How has the Holy Spirit prepared you to respond? I pray like the Israelites, you respond positively and immediately!
Finally, in vv. 2:19-20 Nehemiah reminds us there are some who will ridicule us in an attempt to stop God’s work! God’s enemies knew Nehemiah had authority from the king, but it didn’t stop them from using fear, and discouragement to try to stop them. It’s important to remember when those who oppose us don’t have a legitimate basis to oppose the work; they use ridicule, etc., to try to stop it! Let’s respond to critics as Nehemiah did, by proclaiming boldly a deep trust in God!
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

Please Note: Both Pastor Dan and I will be at Indian Lake for the week of July 8th -15th. Pastor Dan is available via email and phone in the event of a crisis. I will be sending the newsletter out electronically, but if you usually get a printed copy, talk to one of us so we can get you a copy! This also means that no one will be here at the church for the week.
See you in a week!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~NEWS & EVENTS~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 Remember – No Wednesday Family Night this week!
July 11th, there will be no Bible Study at the church, but everyone is invited down to the service at Indian Lake! Free ice cream after service! Talk to Pastor Dan or Pastor Amy if you have questions or need directions.
 Sunday School Classes Combine – July 8th and 15th
Because many will be on vacation, the Adult Alternative class will not be meeting for these two Sundays. Please join the upstairs class. Regular class resumes on July 22nd. Thank you!
Healthy Homes Volunteer and Services Opportunity
The healthy homes coalition of West Michigan is a non-profit organization that seeks to eliminate housing conditions that harm children’s health. They focus on environmental health, including lead poisoning, carbon monoxide and radon exposure, pest management, fire safety, asthma, accident prevention, and more.
 Healthy Homes would love your help if you are interested in volunteering for them! They are also offering to install FREE smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors in homes with children 5 and under. This is available for homeowners as well as renters. This is a great coalition to check out, as they offer so many services to homes with children! For more information about healthy homes, talk to Pastor Amy, or call 616-241-3300, or
 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 Thank You!
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! This year we have received $100 for this offering! That’s 25 minutes! Thank you all!
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.
 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 burgers and dogs 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!
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 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!
 Directories Available
New directories are available on the tables outside of the sanctuary. Please take one!
 Children’s Program
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.
 Upcoming Events
July 7-14         Convention Week at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp
July 11             NO Wednesday Family Night
July 15             Reverend Chris Christopher visits
July 19             Ladies LIFT meets @ 4:30pm
August 3         First Friday Chinese Lunch @ 11:30am Empire Chinese Buffet
August 5         Communion/Family Church – NO Children’s Church
August 12       NE Community Potluck after morning worship service

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 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 15 – Dick & Larry
July 22 – Jerry & Pat
July 29 – Larry & Terry

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 mother, a wife, a sinner under the Cross of Jesus Christ, and a Pastor-in-training.                                    
July 11, 2012
We are halfway through family camp week at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp. Our two little munchkins are spending part of the week in Grand Rapids with my parents, so my husband and I are free to eat, sleep, and come and go as we please. We have not had such a break since before little Theo was born, almost 3 years ago!  My husband has done some fishing and we will be eating blue gils for dinner one night this week. We have been to the beach swimming, enjoyed campfires, eaten way too much food, and enjoyed the precious fellowship with others who are here with us. But none of that has compared to the power of the worship services here!
My experiences so far this week have me pondering and digesting one question: ARE YOU A SKEPTIC? I have had to ask myself this question. Do I believe that God is still really on the move? That He works powerfully in the lives of His people? That He can change us in an instant, and lead us like a shepherd through a long process of changing and dying to self? Was it just in Biblical times that God could whatever He wanted to do, or can He still do it – today – with me – with you? Or do we just stay broken as he found us, and hold on, stumbling about until we finally die? Doubts can easily whisper in my ear. But this morning in worship service, we sang-
Would you be free from the burden of sin? There’s power in the blood, power in the blood!
Would you over evil a victory win? There’s wonderful power in the blood!
There is power, power, wonder-working power, In the blood of the Lamb!

Do you believe it? Historically this campground is a place where people encounter God. Period. Two years ago I was here when I first thought God was calling me into ministry. I have never been the same. The stories are endless of people who have come here and left forever changed.
One evangelist asked us this week during his sermon if we ever give ourselves or other people a pass, saying “oh, that’s just the way he/she is….or oh, that’s just the way I am.” Jesus came for us – just as we are – broken and twisted and in desperate need. But He doesn’t want to leave us that way! When He knocks on our heart, He is not only asking us to let Him in, but to surrender total authority to Him over every corner of our hearts. Every corner.
And surrender is more than a feeling. It’s more than one moment of prayer in which we offer the mess of ourselves up to God. Surrender means we let Him break us, and then we let Him break us again and again and again. Sometimes it means we yield and sometimes it means we need to get up and do what He wants us to do, follow Him where He wants us to go, say what He wants us to say, give up whatever He wants us to give up, trust Him down in the valleys and up on the peaks. Surrender means we decide, come what may, to continue coming to Him begging that He would reveal Himself to us, and asking Him to keep our hearts turned towards Him.
You see, I get jaded. I get disappointed, I get frustrated. I get hardened. I am surrounded by non-Christians and by fellow Christians (ouch) who are suffering from self-inflicted injuries. And don’t get me wrong, because I am also one of these who can be so close yet so far from the solution. I have experienced sitting in church twice a week, helping to lead worship, praying and serving God and still having things which are rotting inside of me. I see the entangling wreckage of sin everywhere and I think – wow, do people really even change anymore? God paid the ultimate price so that we could be reconciled to Him and freed from this – why aren’t we? Why don’t we love Him? Why aren’t we free and what is the point of any of this?
At this point, the Spirit usually comes gently beside me and takes the wheel out of my hand, because frankly I am ready to drive the bus off of a cliff.Move over, He says, sit down and let me drive for awhile. Close your eyes and I will show you something.
And God shows me – there I was. The one who lived not only in a state of denial about myself and my need for God, but in a complete state of refusal to make better decisions or surrender my authority over my own life. The one doing the same stupid thing over and over and over again, expecting something to change. The one spewing out overly emotional pleas to God for help while continuing to make decisions that were contrary to His will for me, and all the while wondering why I still felt chaotic and confused. There I am – a bit of me in all the people who I now try to point to the Cross, and to the power of the blood of Jesus.
And there I am too, and here I am now, being changed by that blood. There I am as the denial starts to fall away like a veil being lifted, there I am as God shows me who I really am and how I really need Him. There I am, finally seeing that I have to try something different. There I am, being taught to seek Him first. There I am, finding more and more things to lay at His feet. There I am, learning I have to make decisions that don’t feel good, learning that He empowers me to do the right thing, and learning that doing the right thing is often costly. There I am, learning that I have a responsibility to respond to the gift of salvation from God. There I am, learning that it is all provided for in the power of Christ’s blood as He died on the Cross. There I am as He changes me in all those ways that only He can.
And there before my eyes go the testimonies of so many others who have been redeemed by Christ. Real people, who I know, who I see, who I talk to every day, who I know have been changed in the same ways.  So am I a skeptic? When I look around at the sticky webs the devil spins, when I see incredible darkness stacked against God’s people, when I see hoards of people I love caught in its grasp, well, yes, sometimes I can be a skeptic. A skeptic of people, but never of God. He whispers – look at me! Turn your eyes upon Christ, upon His provision, upon what He has done for you and for all!  
When I do that, my feet are firmly planted in Him who gives freely to all. I know He wants the best for us, I know He wants us to be free. And I know where the hope is, and I know it’s unchanging, and I know it’s bigger than the devil, and I know it’s still as alive and available as it has always been. And I know that I still want to be changed by this God who is so immeasurably gracious and transformative – so no matter what anyone else does, I will bring myself to the foot of the Cross for one more day walking in His light.
I really believe that God wants to give the BEST to us. He offers health and wholeness and change and transformation to us through Christ’s sacrifice, through the Word of God, through fellowship with others who are walking in the light. Don’t miss out on it by saying “well…that’s just the way I am.” The blood of Jesus says otherwise.   
  With love, Pastor Amy Orban                        Phone:616-514-9521 Email:

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