Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NE NEWS - November 27, 2012

Northeast Community News – November 27, 2012
Dear Friends and Family,

We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! Did you see the snow falling early? What a blessing to live in Michigan! Well, the ‘weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful!’ While we did not have a wood fire in the sanctuary this week, you could see the fire of the Holy Spirit burning in many, many faces! What a joy to be part of a church on fire for the Lord!

God’s message to us this week completed the three message series on “Who are Nazarenes and what do they believe?” While we may examine Nazarene Articles of Faith next year, we did discover Nazarene’s hold three values very dear.

First, Nazarenes are a Christian People! Nazarenes include themselves as part of the one universal Church and join everyone who affirms the life, ministry, death, resurrection, and lordship of Jesus Christ.

Second, Nazarene’s are distinct from other Christians because they embrace the Biblical teaching to live holy and completely yielded lives to God. Nazarenes don’t believe Christians need to sin in thought word and deed every day, but can live victorious lives in Jesus!

The third key value for Nazarenes is the Biblical emphasis on missional living. Nazarenes not only send missionaries ‘over there,’ but see themselves as part of God’s mission ‘right here!’

Mission is the grand narrative of Scripture. The entire Bible is all about God’s mission. The word “mission” is from the Latin missio, meaning “sending.” It is the central biblical theme describing God’s activity throughout history to restore and heal creation. We see evidence of this from Genesis through Revelation.

Perhaps the best remembered example of God’s mission is found in John 3:16-17. It is in these verses we find God pulled out all the stops to reach and save sinners like us by sending His own Son, Jesus! But then Jesus does something radical! In Matthew 28:18-20 He sends all disciples into the mission field! All Christians are called to ‘…Go and make disciples.’ And Jesus promises He will be with us to the ‘very end of the age.’ How will Jesus be with us when we agree to join God’s mission? Through the Holy Spirit!

In Acts 26:12-19, Paul reminds us of an encounter he had with the Spirit of Christ along the Damascus Road. His encounter with Christ changed him forever! From a Christian killer, Jesus transformed Saul into Paul - a Christian missionary!

Jesus called Paul “…to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18).

The same Holy Spirit that transformed Saul is ready to transform you! The same Holy Spirit that helped Paul: ‘open their eyes,’ ‘turn them from darkness to light,’ turn them ‘from the power of Satan to God’ so ‘they might receive forgiveness and sanctification’ is available to us.  Are you willing to join God’s mission?

The mission statement in the Church of the Nazarene is “To Make Christlike disciples in the nations.” For over 100 years Nazarenes have reached into the dark places of L.A., Africa, and Grand Rapids to reach the broken with blankets, food, school supplies, and a warm place to rebuild. Yet, beyond meeting the physical and emotional needs of suffering and hurting people, Nazarene’s still believe what people need most is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and it takes all of us to accomplish what God has called us to do.

So, now you know what Nazarenes believe and what they value most! Under the leadership of the One Triune God, Nazarenes are a Christian People; a Holiness People; and a Missional People. Let us be true to His call! To God be the Glory!

Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is quickly approaching! In the Church we celebrate the four weeks leading up to Christmas as Advent. What is Advent and why do we celebrate it? Join Pastor Amy this week after our special Thanksgiving Potluck at 6:30pm to find out!
(Note: potluck is at 5:30 – Bible Study at 6:30)
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 three weeks. Thank you! Church
Office: 616-459-2773 My Contact Info: 616-514-9521 or

PLEASE NOTE! Beginning January 1, 2013, all correspondence with me will switch to a new email address: Please save me to your contacts, as I will be sending the newsletter and all other church information from this address. Thank you!


Last Wednesday Night Dinner –November 28th- Thanksgiving Leftover Contest!
On the last Wednesday of the month we gather before our Wednesday Night bible study to enjoy dinner together. This month we will once again be holding a contest for the most creative use of Thanksgiving leftovers. Last year was delicious! The winner will take home a prize, just show up at 5:30pm with a dish to pass. Regular Family Night begins at 6:30pm. Talk to Julie Orban to help set-up or clean-up.

World Evangelism Fund Thanksgiving Offering – Thank You!
Thank you for making our Thanksgiving World Evangelism Fund (WEF) offering a big success! Over the two weeks we received $225.83 to finance global efforts to evangelize the world for Jesus! God is good! (You guessed it – ALL THE TIME!)

West Michigan Environmental Action Council Opportunity
WMEAC is a regional non-profit group who has worked in our area for over 40 years. Currently, they are partnering with DTE Energy to create a program that encourages energy efficiency in the home. They are offering a FREE home energy consultation. Here is what they say about it:

This special FREE program is an opportunity for the families in this community to take control of their energy bills and make their home more affordable. This program offers all DTE Energy customers a free home energy consultation that evaluates the energy usage of the home and provides energy saving tips. The appointment typically takes less than an hour of the resident's time… no strings attached.

If you are interested in this, the phone number is 866.796.0512, or view their home page at

Christmas Eve is Coming! Want to Help?
We are already planning our annual Christmas Eve Service. We are already planning our annual Christmas Eve Service. We need lots of helpers! We need people to read, light candles, help set-up and decorate, sing, and create the luminaries we set up along the sidewalks. If you want to be a part of this, talk to Pastor Amy or Pastor Dan. Don’t forget—this is also a great time to invite someone to church!

 Reflecting God- Devotions for Holy Living
Did you know that each quarter (fall, winter, spring, summer), our Nazarene Publishing House prints a small book of daily devotions called, “Reflecting God?” This book is a simple way to organize a time of daily bible study, prayer, and meditation around a key thought or insight in the Christian journey. Reading them each day is a simple way to draw closer to God. There is no cost, and they are located on the table outside of the sanctuary, please help yourself to one!

Postcard Greetings Now Available
Is there someone you’ve missed? Someone you used to look forward to seeing each week but they are missing? Maybe there is someone you would like to invite to church or to a potluck or to Sunday school, but you’re not sure how to go about it. Well, one possibility is to send them a postcard! We recently had postcards made and they are available to anyone who would like to send them to invite, encourage, miss, or welcome someone to the church! Interested? See a Sunday school teacher or Pastor Amy or Dan.

New Membership Class Begins in December – This Sunday!
We are holding a class for anyone who is interested in becoming a member of our church, and for anyone who is simply interested in knowing more about what we believe as Nazarenes. The five-week class will meet on Sundays from 2-3:30pm beginning on December 2nd. You will receive a book titled Welcome to the Church of the Nazarene just for showing up, and you can ask as many questions as you want! Talk to Pastor Dan if you are interested.

Advent is Coming – Volunteers Needed!
Advent, our preparation period leading up to Christmas, begins on December 2nd. One of the special things we like to do during Advent is to have volunteers do special readings at the beginning of each Sunday service. The readings correlate with the lighting of the candles on our Advent Wreath. Would you be willing to read? Talk to Pastor Amy or Pastor Dan!

First Friday Chinese Lunch – Dec 07 @ 11:30am
We continue to meet on the first Fridays of every month to enjoy lunch and fellowship at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine. The food is cheap and delicious, and no reservations are required. Everyone is invited, and everyone is invited to bring friends! Questions? Talk to Tracy Tamm.

 Church Work Day—Saturday December 08th
The trustees will be holding another church work day on Saturday, December 08th from 8am-12pm. Anyone who wants to help can simply show up, and they will put you to work. There is always lots to be done, from painting to cleaning and raking leaves and more. Many hands make the work lighter, so come help take care of our building and grounds! Talk to Theo Orban if you have any questions.

Northeast Community Christmas Potluck – Sunday December 09th
Our next potluck will be Christmas themed, and will take place downstairs in the fellowship hall immediately following morning worship on Sunday December 09th. All children who attend will receive a special Christmas gift. Please bring a dish to pass if you are able, but there is always a ton of delicious food to go around, and everyone is invited to stay and eat! Talk to Cherry Pakiela if you can help set-up or tear-down. 

Girl Scouts Meeting in our Building! Next Meeting Monday December 17th at 6:00pm
We are thrilled to announce that beginning in October, the Girl Scouts program will be meeting in our building every other week on Monday nights @ 6pm. If you have a girl who is interested in joining, there is a $12 registration fee, and the group will tentatively be meeting every other Mondays of the month. Also, if parents of girls are interested in volunteering, they are also more than welcome to register to be a part of the program! Talk to Pastor Dan for registration forms!

Check out our Website – Find us on Facebook!
Please send any input or ideas to Shannen Parsaca at  
Check us out on Facebook under “Northeast Community Church of the Nazarene” 

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
Nov. 28           Last Wednesday Dinner @ 5:30pm, Regular Family Night follows
Dec. 02            Advent Begins
Dec. 07            First Friday Chinese Lunch, 11:30am @ Hibachi Alpine
Dec. 08            Church Work Day 8am-12pm
Dec. 09            NE Community Potluck following morning worship service

Reflections from Pastor Amy 
Weekly thoughts, life-lessons, and reflections 
from a redeemed child of God, a mother, a wife, a student, 
   a sinner under the Cross of Jesus Christ, and a Pastor-in-training.                                    
November 27, 2012
Because When it Rains, it Pours. Especially for Parents.
The joys of Monday morning actually began during the preceding weekend, when our entire family got sick with the very typical runny nose/cough/fever/chills kind of cold that comes with this time of year. We spent most of the weekend very….how can I say it….very together, surviving the crabbiness of kids who don’t feel well and boogers and parents who were chronically exhausted long before getting sick.

By the time Monday rolled around, I was actually thrilled to think of getting back to regular, functional life. I woke up to the pitter-patter of little feet and my husband saying, Amy, wake up, we have an issue, and I have to leave for work right now. How convenient. So I cleaned up the mess of a severely exploded diaper, what we like to call an “up-the-backer,” if that brings any clarifying imagery to the conversation.

The morning continued in usual form, with little boy wrestling matches and scuffles, me hollering out rules like a referee between gulps of cheap coffee. I made breakfast and then left the boys playing together while I cleaned up the kitchen and washed the dishes. The kitchen is mommy’s safe space.

Little Theo came scurrying into the kitchen and said Mama – Look!!! (This never ends up well).

There was Remi, toddling towards me, smiling, and chewing on….? The night light? The light bulb!

Still smiling, blood began to pour out of his mouth while his teeth crunched happily on the glass. It dribbled down his chin, splattering on his shirt, pooling at his feet, staining his little white socks. Something like the way men look when they get punched in the face during a boxing match and their teeth go flying. When I reached for him he laughed, and darted away, leaving a red trail of blood.

The good news is that when all was said and done, he is just fine. The bleeding stopped and no, thank God, he did not swallow any glass, at least not enough to hurt him. It could have been much worse.

The day carried on, full of more shenanigans which can only come from having boys. Little Theo broke several Christmas tree ornaments. Both boys senselessly ripped pages out of books. Remi tried to regain my good favor by tossing toys into the toilet. It didn’t work. With my last bit of strength, I resigned to letting them watch a cartoon. Until Remi pounded on the tv screen and pulled the cords out of the wall.

I could see that the only possible solution for them and for me was to send them to their rooms for early naps. Little Theo immediately flew into a full-fledged tantrum. I had to let him scream it out with stomping feet and thrown toys. Eventually, they tired themselves out. Finally, all was quiet.

The evening was comparable. Little Theo refused to paint, color, play, or do anything other than whine and be fickle. Remi ran around pulling cords out of the walls and otherwise causing trouble. He also really enjoys tipping over all of the chairs around the dining table. I have yet to make sense of this.

Neither of them wanted to eat dinner. Theo whined and Remi threw his turkey on the floor while squawking like a stuck pig. Remi went to bed early, but was woken up by Theo’s second grand bedtime tantrum of the day. They both laid in the dark whining and screaming themselves to sleep. Lovely.

My husband and I both agreed that we are probably terrible parents with the most annoying kids ever. He headed out to the garage to his shop to relax, and I buried my head in a book. Seriously though, I swear that they are not brats, and they do not go undisciplined. They are really good kids, but they are kids.

This is a perfect ad for teenage girls who think their lives will be rosy if they get knocked up, like it’s always cute and monumentally wonderful. The truth about parenting in my experience so far, is that you spend the majority of the time feeling like a failure and wondering if everyone else is as terrible at parenting as you are. And other than that you are pretty much changing diapers or cleaning the mold out of the sippy cup you found under the couch. It’s not as cute as the Pampers commercials, folks.

And isn’t that just real life? There are the mountain top moments, and don’t get me wrong, those moments are precious, sacred, holy and incredible moments. The first time you hold your little one, the newborn smiles and gurgles, the first steps, the way they dance, the hugs, the way they need mommy, the way they look in just their diapers, the first words, the way that they learn and grown and become little people of their own. These things are incredible and I wouldn’t change them for anything.

But the moments are just moments. The rest is just life, day to day life. And some days in the day-to-day swing, we don’t get very far up the mountain. Probably nowhere near the top. These are the days when the most incredible thing to me is a bowl of hot leftover spaghetti with a little extra parmesan cheese. Somewhere in the foothills of the mountain, at best.

I would like to recline in a comfy chair in front of a warm fire with a cup of delightful tea in some extraordinary world and say that at the end of the day, the good outweighs the bad. The smiles outweigh the fall-on-the-floor fits. The giggles outweigh the food thrown on the floor. The hugs outweigh the defiance. But in reality, sometimes they don’t. In reality, I plop down on our couch with the smell of diapers in my nose, wipe the boogers and drool off of my shirt, and am so glad the house is finally quiet.

As a parent I think it is easy to heap guilt upon yourself for not enjoying every single little moment with your precious babies. There is some strange expectation that we put on ourselves that says we should cherish every single second. But we don’t, we can’t, it is not possible nor realistic. The purpose of parenthood is not to self-servingly float on a happy cloud of cuteness and picture-perfect need fulfillment of our little people. So maybe we can let that go and give ourselves a break.

Parenting is humbling, in that I have yet to find anything which points more clearly to the fact that I have serious human limitations. Limited patience, limited love, limited ability to give, limited attention span, limited temper, limited self-control, limited gentleness. The list goes on. And on.

This is good, in that it drives me back to God. My prayer lately has been asking God to sanctify my motherhood. I simply do not have enough love for these little people which God has gifted to me, so I ask that He helps me love them with His love. My own is not enough, it runs out, plain and simple.

Oh God, fill all of us parents with all the things we lack, and bless our babies! In Jesus’ name, amen.  

With Love, Pastor Amy                                                                  616.514.9521/

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