Wednesday, January 30, 2013

NE NEWS - January 29, 2013

Northeast Community Church of the Nazarene
861 Fuller Ave NE - Grand Rapids, MI  49503 - PH # 616.459.2773

Northeast Community News – January 29, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,
 What another wonderful day we had in the Lord, Sunday! While there remain many of us who are sick, or recovering from sickness, we continue to have new visitors and folks resolving (with the Lord’s help certainly) to get more and more spiritually healthy! How about you? Are you spiritually healthy and growing? In addition to getting a flu shot how about getting a “shot of God’s Word?” Got 20-30 minutes? Read 1 John (just before Revelation in the back) and let the blood of Jesus purify you from all sinful sickness!
 God’s message to us this week was from Mark 1:29-39 and was titled, “Reaching the Needs of Others,” and had at least four points. (smile) First, Jesus cares for individuals. After leaving the synagogue and travelling to Peter’s house to eat the main Sabbath meal, Jesus and the disciples find Peter’s mother in law in bed with a fever (v. 30).
 When they told Jesus, He went to her, took her hand, and helped her up and her fever left her (v. 30b-31a). After being healed she got up and began waiting on them (v. 31b). We discover: 1) we need to tell Jesus about those who need help, 2) we need to realize Jesus cares for even the most insignificant, and 3) realize a proper response to healing is serving, and 4) if we want to be like Jesus we need care for the “least of these,” too.
 Second, we discover Jesus cares for the crowd, too. After the nearby town folk heard about the miraculous healing Jesus did for the ‘demon possessed man’ (a bit earlier in Mark) and Peter’s mother in law here, “the whole town gathered at the door” (v. 33).  While some in the church worry about drawing a crowd with mixed motives, perhaps even selfish or gawkers, Jesus heals many of them without making sure their theology was right first. Jesus simply loved the people and showed compassion to them.
 If we want to draw a crowd to Jesus, we ought to strongly consider taking a risk to meet the needs of people around us and let God supply our needs. Yes, many will come with mixed motives, but if we want to care for a crowd like Jesus did, we need to love messy people with messy motives and respond to their messy needs compassionately.
 Third, we discover Jesus cares for the world, too! In v.38a He tells His disciples “Let us go somewhere else…” While Jesus had cared for the individuals and crowds in the town of Capernaum, Jesus was sent on a mission to seek and save the lost in the whole world!
 Fourth, Jesus cares for Himself. Jesus shows us that caring for individuals, crowds, and the whole world is hard, exhausting, and draining work! In vv. 35-37 Peter finds Jesus in a solitary place praying and shouts, “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus shows us by His example we need to set boundaries and establish balance in our lives. While some of us need to find a place of service, some of us need to make sure we are refueling regularly through prayer, worship, meditation, and Bible study, etc., or we are going to burn out!
 If Jesus needed time alone in solitary praying – if the Son of God needed time to refuel and reconnect with God we do, too! If you want to care for individuals, crowds, and the whole world like Jesus did, you need to spend regular time with God, too!

Are you grieving? While we often think of grief associated with the death of a loved one, we also grieve lost marriages and careers, too. Grief is a normal part of human life , but it often leaves us feeling lost and helpless wondering, ‘How can I go on?’

If you’re grieving you’re not alone! Join us to examine what the Psalms can teach us about a 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 next 6 weeks we will examine guilt, sadness, and hope, too! Hope to see you there!

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.
Church Office: 616-459-2773My Contact Info: 616-514-9521 or

Last Wednesday of the Month—Dinners Continue! 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.

First Friday Chinese Lunch – This Friday – 11:30am
This Friday everyone is invited to the First Friday of the month Chinese lunch at the Alpine Ave Hibachi located behind the Target. The food is delicious and cheap, and no reservations are required. Just show up, and feel free to bring friends or family. Talk to Tracy Tamm with any questions, see you there!

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 yourself 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! 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 often need some support, insight, and encouragement. 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!

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.

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!

Girl Scouts Meet in our Building! Next Meeting Mon. February 11 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!

Nazarene Missions Int’l – Crisis Care Kits in February!
Every year our local missionary team asks us to participate in gathering materials for Crisis Care Kits (CCK). This year Tracy Tamm, a member of our local Nazarene Missions International (NMI) council is coordinating and leading our effort. What is a CCK and why should we help? A CCK is a collection of basic toiletry items every human needs, but often don’t have because of a catastrophic emergency forcing them to flee.
 For example, they were provided to the victims of super storm Sandy recently, but have also been given to sufferers in Joplin, MO after the tornado, in Japan after the Tsunami, and in Haiti after the earthquake. CCK are collected throughout the year, ‘staged’ in warehouses around the world ready, and ready to be utilized in emergencies wherever and whenever they are found. As Christians, we do our small part to help meet the need of 100s of thousands around the world who are suffering.
Below you will find the list of materials needed to complete a Crisis Care Kit. Tracy wrote, “You can either buy carefully or donate money or let me do the shopping! There are very specific sizes for every item in the kits.  If the items are the wrong size, we will not be able to put them in a kit, but will donate them to North End Community Ministry (the local compassionate ministry center here in Grand Rapids.)” Here is the list:

1 shampoo (12-18 oz.)
2 bars of soap (bath sized or larger)
1 tube of toothpaste (4.0-6.4 oz.)
3 toothbrushes (in their original packaging)
1 box of bandaids (30 or more per box)
1 fingernail clipper
1 sturdy hair comb
2 hand towels
4 pocket-sized packages of Kleenex
1 beanie baby sized stuffed toy

All of these items will be put in a 2 gallon sized ziplock bag. Items can be found at any dollar store.  We will be staring the drive for donations for the crisis care kits on February 3 or the first Sunday in February and will be collecting items until the last Sunday in February (Feb. 24th). Need more info? See Tracy Tamm!

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, children's 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.

Upcoming Events
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

Reflections from Pastor Amy 
Weekly thoughts 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.                                    
January 29, 2013

Grace Has Hands and Feet
At our house, we have been in quarantine for most of the month of January. Quarantine, or what another mother has creatively termed, “germ jail.”

In germ jail, a sniffle from a little one turns into a full-blown, high-fever battle within hours. By the next day, it has spread to any other children in the house. By the end of the week, it has conquered mom and dad as well.

In germ jail, the lights stay low because of sinus headaches. Children’s cartoons are the constant background noise to our life, as the children want only to snuggle on the couch in pathetic piles of blankets. Brief bursts of play lead to exhaustion and a quick return to the safe haven of the couch, where elephant and sheep pillows bring comfort.

In germ jail, everything seems to be covered in the booger slime of little boys who are too little to know how to wipe their noses. Their little nose-faucets run so hard that mom simply cannot keep up. Children’s Tylenol and Motrin are abundant, and thermometers lay askew, along with wadded up tissues, on tables around the house.

In germ jail, I am on the phone with the Pediatrician daily, discussing new symptoms. Fevers, runny noses, and coughs mutate into rashes, goopy eyes and ear infections. Antibiotics are prescribed, and then prescribed again. More new symptoms occur, and I seriously wonder if this is a joke.

In germ jail, this mommy doesn’t sleep well, because little boys are burning up with fevers and no amount of mommy-worry will make those fevers break. Little boys climb into mom and dad’s bed, only to toss and turn restlessly, covered in feverish sweat and tears. This mommy stares at the dark ceiling, praying that they get better, and compulsively making sure they are still breathing.

In germ jail, no one eats regular meals. Miserable little boys drink apple juice and eat fruit snacks while watching Mickey Mouse. Mommy absentmindedly gobbles down a handful of crackers, and daddy is left to fend for himself.  Phone calls are missed and left unreturned and emails pile up. Church is missed, and then Bible study. Slowly, we start to feel like lone survivors on a desert island.

This might sound dramatic, but it really was this dramatic – at least this time. Whatever bug we caught, just kept getting worse and worse. My Pediatrician comforted us by explaining that we really aren’t special – lots of people seem to be getting this sick this year. But we sure felt special, special like our kids were going to end up in the hospital!

Having the kids get really sick is always kind of like slamming into a brick wall while driving casually down the road. The world really does stop turning, and you quickly switch from functional life to survival mode. Responsibilities are handed off to others, and all that is left is to hover over the little ones, and then get sick too. Powerless.

In the land of germ jail this time, I was reminded of a few important things I wanted to share with you:

1. The world will always keep turning without me. This is humbling. I have missed out on most Bible studies and several Sunday services this month. And yet, the church is still running. None of you have fallen apart due to my absence. Once again, God tends to His world just fine without my help. I am not the glue that holds the world together. This is good news, relieving news. Thanks, God.

2. I’m only human. Again, this is humbling. I may often resemble the Cat in the Hat, who can read a book while standing on a ball, juggling a goldfish bowl while eating a piece of cake. But sometimes, I can’t. And there is no guilt in that. Thanks, God.

3. My kids are human too. There is nothing like hovering over my sweaty, feverish babes to make me grateful for their overall health and well-being. Sometimes they seem like perfect little cherubim, and most likely beautifully immortal. But they are fragile humans too, and it makes me cherish them even more. Thanks, God.

4. Grace Has Hands and Feet. The greatest thing that happened in germ jail was the grace that poured into our home, and the way our needs were met before we even expressed them. Grace in the form of my mom, whose hands helped tend to sick little boys. Grace in the form of feet that walked meals into our home, so we were fed before I even had a chance to start feeling guilty for not cooking. Grace in the form of offers to help in any way – just the offer is enough. Grace in the form of a loving Pediatrician, health insurance, antibiotics, and money for co-pays. Grace in the form of emails and phone calls and prayers from people who love us. If you ever wonder whether or not your little emails or messages mean much, doubt no more. They do.

Slowly, we are coming out of germ jail. The house has been aired out, the Lysol has been used in excess, and the beds are stripped, replaced with soft, fresh, booger-free blankets. I am grateful that God has reminded me once again that we are the hands and feet of Christ, hands and feet which both give and receive grace. Thanks, God!

With Love, Pastor Amy

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