Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NE NEWS - May 14, 2013

Northeast Community News – May 14, 2013
 Dear Friends and Family,
We had another wonderful Sunday this week! It was Mother’s Day, and in addition to sending our mothers home with small gifts, I (Pastor Amy) along with Shannen P. and Julie O. led a responsive prayer for all mothers. We began by reading Psalm 77, and then took the time to acknowledge the various joys, struggles, failures, grief and pain which surrounds Mother’s Day for many. Authentic worship of God involves not only celebrating our joy, but bringing our pain and complaint to Him too; all while trusting Him and praising Him for being with us through it all!
God’s message this week came from John 17:20-26 and was titled “As Long As It Takes.” We started out by talking about expectations, and even watched a bit of Dorothy (Judy Garland) singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in the Wizard of Oz. Poor Dorothy had unrealistic expectations about life being full of rainbows and lemon drops! Now we all have some expectations about life and even about the Church, but are they more realistic than Dorothy’s?
In John 17:20-26 we see Jesus giving His final words to His disciples, praying for them, comforting them, and voicing His expectations for the Church and our lives. The first expectation we see is for unity among Jesus’ disciples (John 17:20b-21a). The unity Jesus speaks of is only possible through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Note that unity does not mean uniformity; we will indeed be different, but we will be one in Christ. This is a direct result of Christ living in and working through us. This unity is based in sacrificial love toward each other. As we love each other this way, we give a powerful, visible witness to pre-Christians, showing them what Christian unity really means.

The next expectation in verse 22 is that we share in Jesus’ glory, and be encouraged! The disciples were about to experience the darkest days imaginable when Jesus would head to the Cross. Here, Jesus reminds them (and us) that we not only share in Jesus’ suffering and agony, but in His glory too. We get to live with the presence of the Holy Spirit, and the secure hope that Jesus will return to gather us into Heaven to see His glory!

The last expectation from our text comes in verses 25-26 and tells us that we are expected to continue God’s mission in the world. Though Jesus is going to be arrested, beaten, killed, resurrected, and ascend to Heaven, He makes it clear that His work, presence, and mission on earth are not over. He will continue to make the Father known (v26), and He will do it through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. As He made His love known to His first disciples, even as they abandoned Him, so He makes His love known to us, and so He expects us to share His great love with others, too.

While we all have expectations of life and of the Church, we need to decide whether or not our expectations line up with Jesus’ expectations. Some of us have indeed suffered from expectations as unrealistic as Dorothy’s. The good news is that Dorothy eventually let go of her fantasy expectations in exchange for being grounded in reality. May we do the same! Lord, help us by the power of your Holy Spirit to have unity within the Church, to be encouraged by knowing that we share in your glory, and to continue Your mission in the world by sharing your love for all people!
**Please note: Pastor Dan is on vacation this week in the Dominican Republic! Please pray for safe travel for him and Janie, and pray that they have a blessed time! You can call me (Pastor Amy) if you need anything**
Blessings! Pastor Amy

Most of us want to be deep, strong, wise, and mature Christians, but we may not realize those attributes require discipline and concentrated effort! Join us Wednesday and learn to connect with God, reach out to others, and stay on track! Shannen is teaching this week – see you there!

Hello from Pastor Amy
My office hours will vary every Tuesday, and if you need to see me, just call! 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 Office616-459-2773 My Contact Info: 616-514-9521 or aorban@nnu.edu

This Just In – Pastor Amy is taking a Summer Writing Hiatus!
I would like everyone to know not to expect weekly writings from me over these summer months. Surely I will be inspired to share some things with you over the summer, but after a year of school and ministry, I am feeling like a well gone dry, and I want to take the summer to rest my creative writing muscles and my brains. Thank you all for so much feedback and encouragement as my love to write has bloomed into something very special for me this year! And don’t worry, you will still have to suffer through my teaching and preaching over the summer! Love, Pastor Amy
Our Next Wednesday Night Potluck is May 29th @ 5:30pm
We continue to hold potluck dinners on the last Wednesday night of every month one hour before our Bible study and family night. Our theme has been soup, salad, and bread. Bring a dish to pass, a dessert, or drinks, and show up for good food and fellowship! Talk to Julie Orban with questions or to help set-up or clean-up.
Church Work Days Continue! Next: Saturday June 01, 8am-12pm
Our trustees continue to hold work days on the last Saturday of every month. Everyone is asked to come chip in and help keep up the maintenance of our building and grounds. No matter what your skills, they can put you to work. There is always plenty to do, especially now that the weather is warming up and we can get outside! Talk to Theo Orban or Pat Parsaca with any questions.
Family Sports Schedules!
We have several children in the church who are involved in sports with their schools. If you have a child who would like their church family to support them in sports, please give Pastor Amy your schedule and she will publish it in the newsletter!
Alannah Parsaca’s soccer schedule: Note – contact Shannen Parsaca with questions!
May 14:  @  Walker Charter
        16:  @ Timberland Charter, Muskegon  
You Can Write to Larry!
Most of you know that Larry TerHaar was sentenced last week to 2.5 years in prison. There is no doubt that he could use some words of encouragement from his church family, and it is important for him to know that he is in our thoughts and prayers. If you want to write him, here is his address:
Larry David Shane TerHaar
c/o Charles Egeler Facility
3855 Cooper St.
Jackson, MI 49201-7517
Indian Lake Nazarene Camp Events
If you don’t know, Indian Lake is a Nazarene campground where people from churches all over our district gather for District Assembly, children and youth camps, and various other activities. Pastor Dan and Janie own two cabins there, and usually invite everyone down to visit during family camp week in July. It is a beautiful place, and a lot of fun! Here are some upcoming events at Indian Lake as we approach Spring and Summer:
 May 21-23 – Work and Win. More work days to spruce up the camp after winter. The camp is including free meals and lodging for workers!
 May 25-28 – Memorial Day Weekend. There will be family activities on Saturday, and a concert on Sunday morning.
 July 4-6 – Family Festival. Fun filled days with activities for all ages, including a 5k walk, other sports, water slides and rides, animal show, crafts, swimming, ponies, pontoon boat rides, a climbing wall and zip line, an outdoor movie and more!
Discovery Camp (grades 1-2-3): July 1-3
Boys & Girls Camp (Grades 3-4-5): July 29-August 2
Middle School Camp (Grades 6-7-8): July 18-22
High School Camp (Grades 9-12): July 14-18
This year, Indian Lake is offering a special promotion! If we get three new campers to attend camps, the fourth goes for free! Registration for camp begins April 15th, so begin planning! Please note that scholarships are available to help pay for kids who want to go to camp. You can see the bulletin boards, the tables outside of the sanctuary, or Pastor Dan or Pastor Amy if you are interested and want more information. You can also go to the website: www.ilnccamps.org, or call 269.649.2281
Postcard Greetings Now Available
Don’t forget, we have NE Community postcards 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 Sundayschool teacher or Pastor Amy or Dan.
Girl Scouts Meet in our Building! Next Meeting Monday May 20th at 6:00pm
The Girl Scouts program meets 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!

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 Pastor Amy or Irene Pratt.

Upcoming Events
May 21-23     Work and Win at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp
May 27           Memorial Day
May 29           Wednesday Night Potluck @ 5:30pm
June 01          Church Work Day 8am-12pm
June 02          Communion Sunday – NO Children’s Church

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