Northeast Community Church of the Nazarene
861 Fuller Ave NE - Grand Rapids, MI 49503 - PH # 616.459.2773
Northeast Community News –January 22, 2013
We had another (cough, cough) wonderful day in the Lord last week even though many of us were sick, re-sick, and/or had kids that were sick or re-sick, and we nearly ran out of hand sanitizer in the church!
But sickness couldn’t stop the joy of meeting 15-day-old Landon James Sinclair Roman (son of Danica) for the first time nor could it stop God from prompting one to announce she wanted to seek membership or keep us from worshipping God! Thanks to Jonathon Gingrich, Steve Hammond, and Pat Parsaca for stepping up and running the soundboard, PowerPoint and ushering with Janie teaching kids and Theo missing to care for his sick family and Jerry out sick! God provided everyone we needed and we were blessed! God is good! Praise His name!
God’s message to us this week was from Mark 1:14-20 and titled, “Follow Me.” In the first 13 verses of chapter 1, Mark immediately tells us about John the Baptist, Jesus’ baptism and His temptation. Mark is the shortest of the Gospel narratives and he is writer that gets to the point quickly. Beginning in v. 14 Mark recalls the calling of the first four disciples: Simon, Andrew, James, and John. Jesus’ words are simple, yet profound and far-reaching. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “And I will make you fishers of men” (v. 17). The disciple’s response was just as simple and far-reaching. “At once they left their nets and followed him” (v. 18).
What a strange question from a man they hardly knew and yet they immediately left their nets and followed. While we know nothing of the circumstances leading up to their encounter with Jesus, it is evident even in the busyness of preparing their nets to fish 1) God’s grace had prepared them in advance through the Holy Spirit, and 2) they somehow recognized the authority of God’s voice in Jesus.
In the midst of your busyness are you prepared to encounter God today? Are you prepared to hear God’s voice today, reprioritize your life, and follow Him? If you have heard His voice have you responded? Following Jesus requires more than a single decision. Jesus asks us to completely abandon our lives, plans and priorities for His plans and priorities. Following Jesus means you keep your focus on Him and continue to learn from Him, listen to Him, and respond to Him.
Finally, Jesus call is to become a fisher of men (and yes women and boys and girls, too!). I have read Mark Twain loved to go fishing, but he hated catching fish. The problem was he went fishing to relax, but catching fish would ruin his relaxation. After all, if you catch a fish you have to take the fish off the hook and then bait the hook again. And that messed up the relaxing.
He realized, however, if people saw him doing nothing, they would call him lazy, so he came up with the perfect plan. He would fish without a hook. He would put his line in the water without any hook or bait hook. Are we ever this way? We do just enough to make it look like were reaching out, but we really don’t want to catch any messy that will mess up our relaxing? Maybe it is time some of us got serious about doing the work of God and become fishers of men.
Our service closed with Irene Pratt and Larry Branagan reading a true story about a young man who had received Christ in the mission field who did not have a back up plan. When the war started the missionaries left him to tend to 50-orphaned babies he approached the situation with child-like faith. He wrote,
“The conflict lasted for three years. There were times when the babies got sick. I was surrounded with medicine and equipment, but I didn’t know how to use it. I did what I knew: I prayed. God healed the babies!
When the mill canister ran low and the babies faced starvation I was tempted to abandon them. Instead, I prayed and hearing the noise of the gate I opened it to find another agency had sent milk.
When we were finally able to leave the compound, the city all around us was in ruin. Yet, we were all safe. We praised God for His protection.”
What is keeping you from trusting and serving God? If you wait until you are perfect you are going to wait a very long time! Perhaps it is time to drop your nets like the first disciples did and follow Jesus without a backup plan!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT ADULT GRIEF BIBLE STUDY (6:30PM)
Are you grieving? While we often think of grief associated with the death of a loved one, we can also grieve over a lost marriage, a lost career, too. Grief leaves us feeling lost and helpless wondering, ‘How can I go on?’
If you are experiencing grief you’re not alone! Join us Wednesday nights to examine what the Psalms can teach us about a compassionate, loving God who weeps with you, walks with you, and offers hope in the midst of pain. This week we will examine how Psalm 77 can help us address our anger. In the 6 weeks we will examine guilt, sadness, and hope, too! Hope to see you there! Blessings! Pastor Dan
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!
Workdays Continue—Saturday, January 26th
The trustees are holding monthly workdays this year, scheduled for the last Saturday of every month, from 8am-12pm. No matter what kind of skills you have, there is always plenty of work to be done around the church, including painting, cleaning, organizing, and other odd jobs and maintenance. It is important to take care of our building and grounds! If you can help, just show up ready to work! Talk to Theo Orban or Pat Parsaca if you have questions.
Last Wednesday of the Month—Dinners Continue!
January 30th @ 5:30pm
January 30th @ 5:30pm
On the last Wednesday of the month, we gather one hour before our Wednesday night Bible Study to enjoy dinner and fellowship. The theme is soup, salad, and bread. Bring a dish to pass and join us @ 5:30pm. Talk to Julie Orban if you can help set-up or clean-up.
Missionary Books! – Will You Read?
Our Missions department has reported that so far this year we have read 54 missionary books as a church. We are doing great, but our goal of 75 books by June is fast approaching! Are you interested in reading a book? The books are very interesting, and they are a great way to learn more about missionary work around the world. Books are available for all ages, and even on CD if you would rather listen! Talk to Janie Hathaway.
Do you want to be Baptized? Baptism Class Feb. 10 – Service Feb. 24
Are you a new believer or someone who has just recommitted their life or someone who has never been baptized and you know it is your time? Terrific! Pastor Dan and Pastor Amy are leading a class on baptism on Feb. 10th and leading a baptism service at the Lifestream Free Methodist Church on Feb 24th. Let Pastor Dan or Pastor Amy know if you are interested!
Next Northeast Community Potluck – Sunday February 10
We will be holding another Northeast Community Potluck on Sunday, February 10 immediately following our morning worship service. Bring a dish to pass if you are able, and join us for delicious food and fellowship. Everyone is welcome to attend, and this is a great time to invite a friend or family member to church! If you would be willing to help set-up or clean-up, please talk to Pastor Amy or Irene Pratt.
Grand Rapids Taste of Soul – February 17, 1-4:30pm
African American History month is in February, and to celebrate, the Grand Rapids Public Library is holding their eighth annual Taste of Soul celebration on February 17th from 1-4:30pm. The event includes literature, history, storytelling, music, crafts, author visits, and food. If you are interested in attending with a group from our church, talk to Pastor Dan.
Want More? Climb Higher! Tri-District Holiness Summit in Flint! Mar. 10-11
Dr. Anthony, District Superintendent from the Eastern Michigan District writes:
We spend so much energy, time and resources in the local church ministry and life in general. The climb gets steep, oxygen runs low, our climbing gear wears thin, and we need a bold, fresh boost of spiritual energy to climb higher.
Your spiritual summit is not out of reach! Mainstream keynotes and musicians are not always available to the average congregation. That’s why we’re bringing them to you—for free!
Whether you are a lead pastor, associate, staff member or leader in your local church, you will want to be a part of yet another Holiness Summit for all Michigan Nazarenes.
March 10-11, 2013 will be a time of renewal and a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the three Michigan Districts of the Church of the Nazarene.
Pastor Dan adds, “Consider yourselves invited! I am planning on traveling to Flint Sunday evening to hear Dr. Diehl and Monday morning to hear Susie Shellenberger and Chad Bohi so you can ride with me if you're interested! While I won't stop Sunday night for dinner, we will stop for a fast food lunch before coming home Monday afternoon! This is an event that will challenge, lift, and encourage you!” Let me know if you are interested! Blessings, Pastor Dan
Are you married or about to get married?
Then you need serious help!
Seriously, the married life is regularly filled with challenges and your church really does understand this and wants to help! From internal communication to unrealistic expectations to learning to disagree (fight) fairly within a Christian worldview, to the external pressures of family and a culture that has normalized temptation and divorce your church understands you are often ‘up against the wall’ and need some support, insight, and encouragement!
Do I have your attention? Good! Starting in April Pastor Dan and Pastor Amy and their spouses will be leading a 6-week class based on the book ‘The Five Love Languages.’ The class will most likely meet in our homes Sunday evenings but we will see who is interested and their availability. Let Pastor Dan or Pastor Amy know if you are interested!
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.
Membership Class is Coming in April!
Do you want to know more about the Church of the Nazarene, our local church, or are interested in becoming a member of the church? Wonderful! Pastor Dan and Pastor Amy are leading a class on Sunday afternoons in April and you are invited! Attendees will receive a copy of ‘Welcome to the Church of the Nazarene’ free that will explain Nazarene history, polity, and what we believe! Let Pastor Dan or Pastor Amy know if you are interested! It will be a lot of fun!
Next Meeting Mon. January 28th 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!
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 Pastor Amy or Irene Pratt.
January 26 Church Work Day 8am-12pm
January 30 Weds Night Dinner @ 5:30pm, regular Bible study to follow
February 1 First Friday Chinese Lunch, 11:30am, Hibachi Alpine
February 3 Communion Sunday/Family Church—NO Children’s church
February 10 NE Community Potluck following morning worship service
February 10 Baptism Class at 3:00pm
February 17 Taste of Soul Sunday, 1-4:30pm (details in newsletter)
February 17 Reverend Chris Christopher visits! (Sunday morning worship service)
February 23 Church Work Day 8am-12pm
February 24 Baptism Service at Lifestream Free Methodist Church at 3:00pm
February 27 Soup, Salad & Bread Dinner @ 5:30pm
March 9 Tri-District TEAM Day in Perry
March 10-11 Tri-District Holiness Summit in Flint – Climb Higher!
April-May Marriage Enrichment Sunday nights
April 07 New Membership Class begins
April 22 Earth Day