Northeast Community News – October 29, 2013
Dear friends and family,
What a wonderful day we had in the Lord, ! While the air is cooler and the leaves are changing and falling outside, the warmth of God’s love is calling and transforming us on the inside, too! Chains continue to fall and lives radically change through Christ!
God’s message this week came from Matthew -35 and was titled: “Fruit of the Spirit: Patience.” Are you a patient person? What or who tries your patience and what encourages you to even try to be patient? For most, patience does not come easy! The idea of long-suffering is not something we look forward to or embrace! Perhaps it is because we are seemingly born impatient! From the cradle we discover the ‘squeaky wheel’ really does get grease! And oh do some of us squeak!
The word translated ‘patience’ in this passage comes from the transliterated Greek word makrothuméō and comes from two contracted words makros (long) and thumos (wrath or anger). When it takes you a long time to get angry or find yourselves able to extend understanding to the foolish over a period of time, or put up with wrong for a long time with someone who deserves punishment, you are makrothuméō or patient.
While it might be hard to believe in a culture that glorifies impatience and pleasing self, God created us to be patient with others! In Matthew 18, Jesus is teaching the disciples how to live in Christian Community when Peter asks Jesus if forgiving 7 times would satisfy the kind of patience He desired (v. 21). While the Jewish Law required forgiving 3 times, Jesus responds, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times” (v. 22). The number isn’t as important as the principle: God wants us to have unlimited patience!
Perhaps baffled, Jesus begins to tell Peter and the other disciples of a parable about two servants who owed a debt they could not repay. Both initially faced justice, but after begging for patience the first servant not only received the patience from the king, but grace! Though owing a trillion dollars his debt was cancelled and he was set free. (This is the kind of grace God shows us through Jesus – Amen!).
But instead of being grateful, the servant who’d been forgiven a trillion went after someone who owed him a few dollars and even though the man who owed the small amount begged for patience, too, he refused and threw him into prison (v. 33). Jesus ends the parable warning that God will treat us in the same way we treat others (vv. 32-35).
Last week we had an amazing worship service with perhaps 45 coming forward to the altar with debts they couldn’t pay! One after another people brought their chains and instead of receiving the impatient justice they deserved, they received amazing grace. It was an incredible service! The Holy Spirit moved and God’s people were made whole!
But as you left the service and descended off the mountain and went back into your every day world filled with fools and people needing justice, how did you respond? Did you respond with the same patience and grace you received, or demand justice? Jesus teaches us to extend the same patience, grace, and freedom to those in debt to us as we received from Him. Easy? NO WAY! But with the sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit flowing within a life fully yielded to Him you can do it! Let Him lead – you follow! Amen!
FALL FESTIVAL REFLECTIONS
Last week I reflected on the Come to the Fire women’s conference and how the Holy Spirit led 10 women and an obedient pastor in an awesome – life changing – worship service! God led! God moved! People were obedient and God transformed! Hallelujah!
But God didn’t just move in the service, He led us into the parking lot for a wonderful time of loving 100+ others in our community, too! Hmm, perhaps I have gotten too far ahead and need to back up a little bit first. About 3 months ago Irene Pratt challenged our church board to live our church name and become a community-focused church.
Irene often serves as a prophetic voice in our midst. In our spiritual gifts inventory it describes someone with the gift of a prophet as someone with:
“…the ability to interpret and apply God’s revelation in a given situation. To exercise this gift, one must have a sense of call, a sense of timing, knowledge of the Scripture and the workings of the Church, and respect for the dignity of all people.”
Specifically, Irene wanted us to have a Free Fall Festival and invite the community to experience the love of Christ through food, fellowship, gifts, and a variety of crafts and other games and activities for adults and children. Speaking for myself, I was both excited at the prospect of a large outdoor fall festival and overwhelmed at the amount of planning it would require. After a small amount of discussion I am pleased to tell you your church board enthusiastically endorsed her idea voted unanimously to set aside $500 along with a lot of offers among board members to help make it happen!
While the idea was sound and God was clearly leading, the Evil One tried to stop it by attempting to confuse, question, and discourage us. Would there be enough money? Would there be enough volunteers? Will anyone in the community come? What about a weather forecast calling for 8 days of rain? These were just some of the questions the Evil One tossed at the planners of this event! Each potential roadblock and question was answered with the same quiet determined faith! We can trust God to provide!
Did God provide? ABSOLUTELY!
To the question ‘Would there be enough money?’ we came in UNDER budget! Praise God! To the question, ‘Would there be enough volunteers?’ we had more than enough! In fact, God sent a perfect stranger from the community to help us set up! Praise God! To the question, ‘Will anyone in the community come?’ we had a 180 come and of those OVER 100 were NEW to our church! Praise God! And last, to the question ‘What about a weather forecast calling for 8 days of rain?’ well, it did rain for 4 days before and 3 days after, but on the day of the Fall Festival it was SUNNY and WARM! Praise God!!!!
Thank you to everyone who made this event a success! From Irene who created 30 posters and 800 flyers and delivered them to businesses and houses throughout the community and led all of us to everyone who donated supplies, to those who helped with food preparation and clean up, to those who set up tables and chairs or helped kids bob for apples, search for pennies in sawdust, toss a beanbag, decorate a pumpkin or a face, or helped kids make a woodcraft it was an amazing day! To God be the Glory! For those who like statistics this is what I have:
· 180 in attendance (approx.)
· 100+ had no affiliation to the church (so far)
· 140 people made 176 entries to win prizes
· 65 people won something (46.4% were a winner!)
· 56 pumpkins were painted (and we could have used more!)
· 6,435 bubbles were blown (approximate)
· 1.25 bushels of apples were bobbed for!
· It takes 2 bags of sawdust to cover 25% of the parking lot! J
· 100+ faces were painted including both of your pastors! (meow!)
· 100+ woodcrafts were created and taken home!
· Lots of spines were analyzed, massages given, and appointments made with our neighborhood chiropractor Dr. Jake from Simple Truth Chiropractic!
But statistics alone don’t tell the whole picture. While we will be telling stories for a long time, I want to share one I will treasure in my heart forever. You may not have recognized our musician, Patrick Gillis. But Patrick is a regular at our church. In fact, Janie and I find him at church about 5 times a week sleeping on the front porch. While Patrick graduated with a music degree from college, he is currently homeless. While everyone enjoyed his music, Patrick actually thanked me for the opportunity to play.
Apparently homeless people don’t get a lot of invitations or opportunities to play, but when our church graciously provided both and we were all blessed! In that moment I was certain we had seen Jesus in our midst! (Matt. 25:40). I wasn’t alone! At least one other person was dumfounded and teary when they fully realized what was happening! She asked, “What kind of church invites a homeless man to come and provide music at a church event?” With a healthy sort of pride and with a lump in my throat I said, “His name is Patrick and Northeast Community is the kind of church that welcomes hurting, sick, and broken people into the presence of Jesus and His healing presence to share their gifts.” After all, His grace IS STILL AMAZING, right? Amen and Amen!
Bless everyone who helped – who prayed then and continues to pray – for being the hands and feet of Jesus – for supporting ideas that could easily seem to hard, too big, and too costly! While only God knows what the result of all of our efforts will be, this event has already changed me! God is so good, how often? Yup, all the time!
WED. NIGHT PRAYER MEETING AND ADULT BIBLE STUDY AT
We changed the format of the adult Bible study! While we still examine God’s Word, we are now singing and praying first to give us enough time to pray! Sometimes this means we need two weeks to finish a lesson and that is ok! This week we continue our study on the fruit of the Spirit by continuing to exam Matthew -35 and patience!
Blessings! Pastor Dan
Hello from Pastor Amy, your Associate Pastor/Administrative Secretary
My office hours vary on Tuesdays, so 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, or a prayer request to publish, please contact me! Also, we have a long, ongoing list of prayer requests. Please keep me updated. Requests will be pulled from the newsletter & program after three weeks.
NEWS AND EVENTS
Potlucks on Last Wednesday Night of the Month!
On the last Wednesday night of every month, we gather for dinner and fellowship at . Bring a dish to pass and invite friends or family to join us for good food and conversation. Regular Bible study follows at it’s regular time of Next dinner: This Weds . Please note we do have Youth Group and Nursery Coverage nights. Talk to Julie Orban to help setup or cleanup the potluck.
November Blanket Drive for Mel Trotter!
During the month of November, we will be holding our third annual Blanket Drive for Mel Trotter mission. Three years ago we learned that the mission is often in need of blankets, and many of their people end up sleeping on beds without blankets during these cold months. Each year, Mel Trotter has been extremely grateful for the blankets we are able to give! So bring your new or gently used blankets in and add them to the pile in the back of the sanctuary. Talk to Janie Hathway with questions. Our goal is 65 blankets!
First Chinese Lunch November 01st
On the first of every month, everyone is invited to the Alpine Hibachi located behind the Target for lunch. The group meets at and everyone is welcome to bring friends or family. The food is cheap and delicious, and the conversation is even better. Talk to Tracy Tamm with questions, see you there!
DST Ends this – Fall Back!
Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, so don’t forget to set your clock backs one hour when you go to bed on Saturday night. If you forget, it will be okay, because you will be to church one hour early and can have coffee with the other early birds!
Family Church/Communion Sunday November 3rd
Each first of the month, we celebrate the sacrament of Communion during our worship service. On this special day, we keep our children in service, and there is no children’s church. This gives our children and our workers the opportunity to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Have a child who wants to help hand out programs, usher, or be involved in our service in some other way? Talk to Pastor Amy!
MORNING PRAYER MEETINGS
Come pray with us mornings! Everyone is invited to join us for an hour of prayer. We all know many who need Jesus, and many who have other needs. We believe that prayer really does change things, and God really does love the world – especially those who don’t know Jesus yet! Who could you be praying for? It is a midweek blessing and encouragement to join with other believers in prayer! See you !
Craft and Scrapbooking Weekend at Indian Lake!
This weekend is just for ladies and takes place from . The cost is $25 per day which includes a table, meals, games, prizes, snacks, and devotion time. Lodging costs vary. More details at www.nazcamp.org
Indian Lake Nazarene Camp 2014 Summer Dates!
Here are confirmed dates for family festival, camp meeting, and camps for kids and teens in 2014. We will publish these dates again, but thought you might like to plan ahead.
2014 JUNE Confirmed Dates
16 - 20 Middle School Camp
23 - 27 High School Camp
30 - Discovery Camp
2014 JULY Confirmed Dates
4 - 6 Family Festival
7 - 11 Boys/Girls Camps
12 – 20 District Centennial Celebration Events
Homecoming Worship Service
13 - 14 District Assembly
14 - 20 Family Camp