Northeast Community News – August 14, 2012
Dear Friends and Family,
What a wonderful day we had in the Lord, Sunday! Isn’t it great to see all of those using their gifts in the church each week? I have been especially blessed to see so many willing to sing on our praise team lately! From vacuuming, to teaching Sunday school, to playing the piano, to hauling a couch, to greeting, ushering, or making coffee, God’s people are serving God in so many ways! How do you serve?
God’s message to us this week was from Nehemiah 5:1-13 and was titled, “Angry, Amends, and Amen.” Nehemiah and the workers rebuilding the Jerusalem wall faced external threats in chapters 4 and 6, but in chapter 5 the threat comes from within. Their work on the wall prevented them from planting and harvesting their own fields. With no harvest, the risk of starvation made them vulnerable to those who took advantage of them by charging extraordinary interest rates that resulted in foreclosed and lost fields and vineyards and enslaved children.
It is important to note that injustice is not new. From the time of the fall, sinful and powerful people have taken advantage of weak, the poor, and the broken. But how should Christians respond when they uncover injustice?
First, we are to become angry! In v. 6 we see Nehemiah didn’t simply get concerned, he was ‘very angry.’ The words mean ‘to the highest degree’ to ‘become hot, to burn to become inflamed with passion.’ When we uncover injustice, especially in the church, we, too should be inflamed with passion.
History is filled with Christians who were inflamed over injustice. From those who opposed slavery, to those who set up orphanages and hospitals, to those who established a social safety net for the poor, Christians have been involved!
Second, Nehemiah teaches us we need to confront the problem; we need to confront those who are creating or maintaining injustice. From v7-v11 he accuses the nobles and officials of injustice, calls a large meeting to confront them, and gives them specific ways to respond. It is not enough to just get angry over injustice! We must confront them and demand change!
Finally, beyond change, Nehemiah demands commitment and amends from them. Beginning in v. 9 Nehemiah tells them not only to stop, but to give back what they had taken. We don’t talk about this much anymore in the church, but when we have done wrong we need not only commit to change, we need to ‘make it right’ to the best of our ability when we have treated another unjustly.
Have you encountered injustice? Speak up! Get Angry! Encounter the abuser! Have you inflicted injustice? Humble yourself, remain silent, and make it right!
This week’s Wednesday Night adult Bible study is titled ‘Memorizing God’s Word.’ God’s Word is an unending source of knowledge, strength, and inspiration in the life of a Christian! Join us at 6:30pm to discuss the importance of reading and memorizing Scripture!
See you Wednesday!
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!
NEWS & EVENTS
Game Night – Thursday, September 6th @ 6:00pm
Want something to do on a Thursday night? Show up at the church at 6pm for games and food. Bring your favorite game, some chips or pop, your kids and your friends – everyone is welcome! Once everyone arrives, we will order pizza from across the street. The cost is typically about $3 per person for pizza if you are able to chip in – but if not, there will be plenty to go around. We will meet in the annex upstairs – see you there!
Healing Service Planned – Saturday, September 22 @ 6:00pm
In the church of the Nazarene, we believe that part of Jesus’ ministry to us is that of healing. In this service we will be considering the need for healing in all realms, that of the physical, but also the mental, emotional, and spiritual. Please join us for this special service and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart and life. Everyone is invited to attend, please feel free to bring friends and family members.
Monthly Work Days Planned! Can You Help?
The trustees are planning to hold monthly workdays beginning in August to take care of our building and grounds. There is always work to be done, from painting to raking to cleaning and repairs and everything in between. No matter what your skill level, the guys can put you to work! The workdays will be held on the LAST Saturdays of the month from 9am-12pm. Talk to Pat Parsaca or Theo Orban with questions or to help.
August Work Day: Saturday, August 25th
Northeast Community Walking/Jogging Club
Do you like to walk or jog and wish you had some friends to walk with? Do you need to loose a few pounds, make a few friends, or just want to hang out with a few Christians and have a few laughs while getting a little exercise? If you said yes to any or all of those questions we have good news for you!
Starting Tuesday Aug. 28 through Nov. 20 we are gathering at the church at 6:00pm and then going to a nearby walking trail to walk or jog 5k or 3.1 miles for 13 weeks! Of course, during the weeks of ArtPrize we will be walking downtown! If you walk all 13 weeks you will have traveled 65k or 40 miles! You can do this!
Interested? Let Pastor Dan know or just show up and get some fresh air with good friends! Everyone is welcome! Our pace will be set by those who show up!
A Night of Christ-Centered Testimony
Pastor Amy is planning an alternative service on Saturday October 20th at 6:00pm. Come and hear what God is doing in the lives of his people! We always hear the good news from the preachers and “professional” clergy, right? Well this is a night where you can hear great stories from all kinds of people about how awesome Christ really is. This is a great time to invite friends, family, neighbors, or anyone else who could use some good news.
Pastor Amy is looking for volunteers to speak for 10-20 minutes about how Christ has changed their life. If you are reading this and know that this call is to you, please see me! Also please note that this will be a casual night, and you do not need to be polished or profound at public speaking to share your heart for Christ! Won’t you pray you about it?
Three Kids are Going to Chuckie Cheese!!
When the dust settled 3 of our 11 children read all 6 children’s missionary books last year (June 2010-May 2011) and won a trip to Chuckie Cheese at Pastor Dan’s expense! (ouch!) Congratulations go to ALANNAH PARSACA, BRADLEE TOOLE, and KARLEE TOOLE for all their HARD WORK! You three set an example for all of us! May we all grasp the importance of reading our missionary books! Thanks to everyone who read to the kids, encouraged them to read, and believed in them! ATTENTION KIDS! Want to go to Chuckie Cheese next year? Start reading this year’s children’s missionary books! Let’s see if we can send 10 kids next year!
Don’t Forget to Sign up! MEIJER COMMUNITY REWARDS
Jean Christoffersen recently told us of a program at Meijer’s that gives a small portion of money (.5%-1%) of most purchases back to non-profits like Northeast Community Church of the Nazarene! The Meijer website states:
Meijer Community Rewards was developed to meet our customers' growing desire to support k-12 schools and religious groups in ways that don't stretch their budget...or their time. Your k-12 school or religious organization can now raise group funds without administrative costs or sales of any kind!
So, after signing up Northeast Community Church of the Nazarene up and being approved we are pleased to announce you can now help us doing what many of us do already – shop at Meijer!
For those who have a Meijer Credit Card or choose to get one we receive 1% cash back. For those who use a Debit Card we receive .5% cash back. Unfortunately, we receive nothing for those of you who use a check or a non-Meijer Credit Card.
To participate you DO NOT need to attend our church! So, if you have friends or family members that want to help Northeast Community, well, that’s just great!
To sign up you need to go to the Meijer website (link below) and sign up. You will have several options. 1) sign up for a Meijer credit card, 2) sign up for a Meijer One card, or 3) if you already have a Meijer credit card you can ‘link it’ to our Church so you purchases will automatically be credited to us. Please know we aren’t ‘pushing’ credit cards! We just want you to know all of your options!
To complete your application online you will need our organization # 214242. No internet access? No problem! Paper applications can be found outside the sanctuary or inside any Meijer store. Simply ask for a ‘Community Rewards’ application from the Customer Service counter!
To find out more about Meijer Community Rewards click here:http://www.meijer.com/rewards/
To sign up for the program click here: (remember our code is 214242)http://www.meijer.com/mcr/choose_card.jsp
God bless you for participating! If you have any questions, call Pastor Dan at the church at 616-459-2773 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
School Pal-Paks Drive!
The Church of the Nazarene operates numerous primary schools around the world, providing quality education for children. Unfortunately, children around the world often do not have the supplies needed for school. In countries with economic challenges, families cannot afford to purchase supplies, and sometimes siblings have to share supplies.
In response to this need, Nazarene Missions International partnered with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Inc to provide School Pal-Paks.
We will be collecting supplies through the end of August. Please use the shopping list provided in the bulletins this Sunday, or you can give money to Janie Hathaway or Irene Pratt who will shop for supplies. Shopping lists can also be found by the missions bulletin boards in the back of the annex.
Where can you buy the supplies CHEAP this Week???
1 package of 10-12 #2 Pencils – Office Max 79 cents
1 package of 10-12 black pens – Office Max $1; Dollar Store $1
Pink erasers – OfficeMax 75 cents for a 3 pack; Office Depot 25 cents; Dollar Store $1
Ruler – OfficeMax 5 cents; Target 49 cents; Dollar Store $1; most stores have cheap rulers
Colored pencils (12-15 count) – Target 49 cents; Dollar Store $1; Meijer 97 cents; Staples $2
Pencil sharpener – hand held not battery or electric – Office Depot 25 cents; Office Max 10 cents; Dollar Store
Blunt end scissors – OfficeMax 50 cents; Office Depot $1; Dollar Store $1
Composition notebooks – OfficeMax up to 5 free if you spend $5; Staples $1; Dollar Store $1
Come to the Fire 2012
Olivet Nazarene University is hosting the 2012 Come to the Fire Women’s retreat from October 11-13. This is an amazing opportunity for women to fellowship and be spiritually nurtured in a powerful way. Check out the poster on the bulletin board, and there are also brochures on the table for more information. We want ALL WOMEN to know that we are already planning for hotels, food, etc! So if you are interested, please talk to Janie Hathaway or Pastor Amy.
Registration Deadline + $25 non-refundable deposit due by: September 9th
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!
We have launched our new website!
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 Shannen Parsaca at email@example.com
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.
August 25 Church Work Day 9am-12pm
August 26 Last Sunday for School Pal Paks donations
August 28 Walking/Jogging Club begins @ 6pm
September 2 Communion Sunday/Family Church
September 6 Game Night @ 6pm
September 7 First Friday Chinese Lunch
September 9 Registration for Come to the Fire Retreat
September 22 Healing Service @ 6pm
October 11-13 Come to the Fire Retreat @ ONU
October 20 Testimony Service @ 6pm
August Worker Schedules
August 19 SS –Janie Hathaway & Barb Bunning
Worship – Anna Boeve & Alannah Parsaca
August 19—Pat & Dick
August 26—Terry & Jerry
August 19 – Irene Pratt
August 26 – Joan Grinwis
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.
August 14, 2012
I did my weekly grocery shopping trip on Monday, and you never know what you’re going to see while grocery shopping, right? Anyone who has ever been to Wal-Mart will agree.
As we were checking out, I saw a mom with two children. One was still a baby, riding in his car seat which was latched on the cart, chewing happily on anything and everything. The other was a toddler, riding along in the top of the cart, flashing big mischievous smiles at anyone who would look. Groceries were overflowing and covering the entire bottom rack of the cart.
The mom was obviously tired and flustered. Her hair was up in a loose ponytail with untamed strands falling everywhere, and she was pale with no make-up and no effort to look otherwise. She was wearing a black t-shirt with an unflattering pair of gray sweat-shorts. I could see where the bottom of one of her flip-flop sandals was coming unglued. Her t-shirt was smeared with what I recognized to be baby drool and snot.
The little boy was loud. Mom would repeat “No, stop it,” quietly through clenched jaws, and the little boy would reply with a resounding “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” shouted at the top of his lungs. He was reaching back into the cart, grabbing for anything he could get his hands on, and throwing items out of the cart and onto the floor.
I watched her pale face turn several shades of red as she tried to put her groceries on the belt. The little boy was now reaching for anything he could grasp on the shelves around him. He tried to stand up, only to have his mom grab his legs and hiss “SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW.”
His response was another scream “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
People were starting to stare. The little boy sat down and was quiet for a moment. Then he poked his little brother in the eye. The baby began to scream.
Mom was finished. She walked to the front of the cart, forced the little boy to sit down, grabbed him by the mouth, made him look into her eyes, and yelled, loud, “KNOCK IT OFF RIGHT NOW!” Then she proceeded to put her items on the belt, slamming each item down as she went along. The little boy pouted and worked on manufacturing crocodile tears. The baby squawked and crabbed. Mom rolled her eyes. She angrily swiped her card, never even looked at the cashier, and proceeded to push her cart and two tiresome children out of the store, ponytail bobbing and broken sandal smacking the ground.
I couldn’t help but feel pity for her, and really pity for the children who have an angry mom, a mom who clearly responds to childlike behavior by acting like a child herself. Sometimes I watch these mothers with out-of-control kids and I’m not surprised that the world seems to be made up of a bunch of adult-children who were never disciplined growing up.
And then Jesus said – “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. (John 8:7)” And all the people in the story walked away. No one threw stones, because no one could claim perfection.
The truth is that the woman at the check-out with the kids? She was me. It was a rough day.
So what was your reaction? (Don’t worry, if you stuck your nose in air and starting mentally ranting about the terrible state of parenting and spoiled children and laziness in the
world today, no one else will know. This is a good opportunity for quiet, internal learning.)
Some days with kids are simply death by 100,000 tiny paper cuts. And some days, by 10am we are already up to paper cut #19,000 and I am ready to lose it. Little Theo sure is cute with his blond curls and irresistible smile, and he’s so very sweet and loving, but let’s face it- he can still be really naughty! The truth is that sometimes I really think he is out to get me. What would really make my mom crazy right now….?
That day, I walked out of the store knowing that I had earned several well-deserved sideways glances from other shoppers. I threw the boys in the car, gave little Theo fruit snacks to shut him up, piled my groceries in the trunk, and figured that there must be a guardian angel of Sauer Kraut because there is no other explanation for how that glass jar got thrown onto the hard floor three times without breaking.
After we got home and unloaded, I began to put everything away. I stopped and laughed out loud when I pulled a big fresh cucumber out of a bag, only to notice that it had a giant bite taken out of it from Little Theo. Then the bread was squished because I had to pry it out of Remi’s hands. An egg was broken and leaking. Corners of boxes were chewed and a yogurt was opened.
In some perfect world somewhere, moms grocery shop with adorable kids who smile and hold onto the coupons for safe-keeping instead of crumpling them up and chewing on them. Boys are clean and do not have snot running down their face, and they certainly don’t try to chew on the filthy, germ-filled handle of the shopping cart, God help us all. Moms are patient, organized, and never forget their shopping lists. They have time every morning to look very nice, they always dress attractively, and they never go out of the house with mystery body fluids on their clothes.
This is not my world, but my world is still perfect. Next time you witness the in-store tantrum of a child with a mom who is also nearing a tantrum, give them a break, won’t you? They are not the core of all that is wrong with the world – but perhaps they are the core of all that isright.