Northeast Community News – November 26, 2013
Dear friends and family,
Are you feeling thankful yet? This is the week of Thanksgiving and a great time to take 30 minutes or more and write down everything you are grateful for! We are a blessed people who serve an Amazing God, live in His incredible creation as saved, sanctified people, and have received (and continue to receive) countless blessings!
God’s message this week came from 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 and was titled, “Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness.” Gentleness is the forgotten and underappreciated fruit. For most of us, life is extremely busy and productivity is the bottom line. Stress, financial concerns, and making things happen can push us to get things done at any cost. Today, rudeness, brutal honesty, and harshness are virtues that need no apology, especially if they help to get things done faster and for less money.
Courtesy and tenderness are shoved aside for traits that get more immediate results. In fact, gentle people or dealing gently with situations and people is judged as weak and ineffective. So, in this world where gentleness is dismissed, what are Christians to do?
First, we need to understand “gentleness” does not equal weakness. Quite the contrary! Gentleness is defined as “power under control.” Like a 2,000lb horse that has the power to crush, maim, or move out of control, the Greeks argued a horse that had been “gentled” controlled it’s enormous strength in a way that brought about incredible good! A gentle horse, a gentlewoman or man or child does not lack strength, but uses his or her power in a way that not only does no harm, but also brings about incredible good!
Second, we find gentleness demonstrated throughout the Bible. In the first 6 verses of 1 Thessalonians c.2 we find Paul defending his ministry against all sorts of charges, but in v. 7 the tone shifts to what he and his companions did instead. While they could have demanded special treatment as apostles (v. 6b), they chose to be ‘gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children’ (v. 7) and loved them and delighted in them (v. 8).
Interestingly, the Greek word ‘mother’ used in v. 7 refers to a woman nursing an infant child. We must not lose the paradox Paul is conveying for it is at the heart of what it means to possess gentleness. Paul and his companions were powerful church leaders and could have demanded much, but instead these men from a culture who considered women to be second class citizens treat the people like a nursing mother to her baby!
Such contrast! Such tenderness from a man who killed Christians! Paul demonstrates gentleness as a powerful man choosing to be humble and weak, not because he is weak!
But gentleness doesn’t originate with Paul! It originates in the very heart of God where we see a powerful God loving His creation in tender gentle ways. In the incarnation of Jesus we see the powerful God taking on the human flesh: born in a stable, washing feet, and dying on The Cross to make provision for our redemption and sanctification! Paul is gentle because the God who is gentle is living within him! It is a fruit of the Spirit!
Finally, if Jesus can take a violent ex-Christian murderer and Pharisee (see 1 Tim and Phil. 3:4-6) and transform him into a “nursing mother” for the Kingdom, what could He do with you? Some of us are still broken and outside the kingdom like Paul once was. If this describes you, you need to begin by receiving and believing on Jesus! If you are already a child of God, but wrestling with power under control, it may be time to yield your life (your power, stuff, and relationships) to God and ask the Spirit to sanctify you.
It is a harsh and cold world out there and many of ‘those people out there’ need to see the difference Jesus makes. What difference does Jesus make? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”(Galatians -23).
WILLIAM HANNA MEMORIAL SERVICE –
Everyone is invited to celebrate the life of Bill Hanna at NE Community Church of the Nazarene at . Loved ones will receive friends and others wishing to express sympathy 30 minutes before the service and there will be light refreshments served after the service. While many of you did not meet Bill or know him well, he was born Mar. 02, 1930, served as a tank driver in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict, and was a strong supporter of the church for many years. Come, join us and celebrate!
WED. NIGHT PRAYER MEETING AND ADULT BIBLE STUDY AT
Remember, there is NO BIBLE STUDY THIS WEEK to allow us to decorate the church! Join us NEXT week as we sing, pray, and examine God’s Word!
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
Philippines Disaster Response – Thank you!
Over the past two weeks, we took up an offering which will go to help the response of the Church of the Nazarene in the Philippines after the devastating typhoon hit earlier in November. Our total offering received was $413! Thank you for giving! Your money will go to people in crisis, many of whom have lost everything, and are in need of food, water, shelter, and more. You can still help - more good info here: http://ncm.org/news/press/
Wednesday November 27 – This Wednesday - Decorate the Church!
Don’t forget – we are cancelling our regular night Bible study on November 27th (the night before Thanksgiving) and instead we are inviting everyone to show up at for pizza and a time of decorating the church for the holiday season. Won’t you help us make the church look beautiful? See you there!
Advent Readings and Lighting of the Wreath
Advent begins on the first of December, which is ! Our tradition is to light candles on our Advent Wreath in the front of the sanctuary as we anticipate Christmas and the birth of our Savior, as well as His future return. During Advent, we reflect on the already-but-not-yet Kingdom of God, and the God who promised Christ in the Old Testament, sent Christ in the incarnation, and tells us in His Word that Christ will come again in final victory! Our Adult Alternative school class will be studying an Advent devotional for these weeks leading up to Christmas, please join us and be enriched in your faith during this wonderful season!
November Blanket Drive for Mel Trotter! Coats too! is the last day!
During the month of November, we are 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. So bring your new or gently used blankets in and add them to the pile in the back of the sanctuary. This year we are also collecting gently used and new coats to donate with our blankets! Talk to Janie with questions. Our goal is 65 blankets/50 coats!
Blanket Total so far: blankets 43 Coat Total so far: coats 10
First Chinese Lunches Continue –
Looking for a chance to connect with some of your friends from church? Join us for lunch on the first of every month at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine, located behind the Target. Everyone is invited. The food is cheap and delicious and the conversation is even better. No reservations required, just show up at . Talk to Tracy Tamm.
Helping College Student Revival at Calvin – The Send
In an effort to support Jonathan Gingrich and fellow Calvin College students who are gathering weekly for prayer, planning, and revival, we are asking if you would be willing to bake a treat or snack for their weekly meetings. They are meeting nights, so we want to send them off with snacks for the meeting. Talk to Irene Pratt or bring something beginning on to send!
NE Community Potluck – Sunday December 08
Immediately after our morning worship service on Sunday December 08, we will be holding another NE Community potluck. This is a great time to invite friends and family to church, and everyone is welcome to attend. Please bring a dish to pass if you are able. There is always plenty of good food to go around. Talk to Irene Pratt to help!
Ladies Cookie Exchange and Lunch –
Irene Pratt is planning a cookie exchange and lunch for any ladies who would like to join. Please bring at least one dozen cookies to exchange. Lunch will be provided, and it will all take place at Irene’s house: 2453 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. Please talk to Irene with questions! 616.432.9160
December Night Potluck Dinner Date Change
Our night potlucks usually take place on the last Wednesday of the month, but due to Christmas, we are pushing our dinner back a week for December. The dinner will be held on Wednesday December 18 @ 5:30pm with regular Bible study to follow. Bring a dish to pass and join us for good food and fellowship. Talk to Julie Orban with questions or to help set-up or clean-up.
Christmas Eve Service – @
We are once again beginning to plan our Christmas Eve Service. This is a very special service and is a great time to invite someone who normally does not come to church. We need plenty of workers to help decorate, light candles, do various readings, work in the nursery, clean up, and prepare cookies and coffee for the afterglow following the service. Want to help or have any other ideas? Talk to Pastor Dan.
Christmas and New Year’s Night Cancellations
Please note that we will NOT be holding our regular night Bible study on , nor on January 1st. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Our Teens are FUNDRAISING!
In an effort to raise money for summer camp at Indian Lake Nazarene Camp, our teens are selling World’s Finest Chocolate Bars. They have a variety of flavors, and the bars are $1 each. They are selling them nights, as well as after service . This is a great way to support our teens and help them get to summer camp! Talk to Pastor Amy if you have any questions, or see Kamrie and Alannah to buy!
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 !
November 27 No Weds night study, show up at regular time to decorate the church
Thanksgiving Day Dinner at at the church
Communion / NO Children’s Church
First Chinese lunch, @ Hibachi Alpine
NE Community Potluck follows morning worship
Cookie Exchange and Lunch @ – Irene Pratt home
Night Potluck Dinner @ , Bible study follows
Christmas Eve Service @
No Night Bible Study – Merry Christmas!
No Night Bible Study – Happy New Year!