Northeast Community News – December 17, 2013
Dear friends and family,
Are you ready for Christmas? I must confess that while I am ready for Jesus’ second coming, with all of the preparations we are making for our Christmas Eve Service, I’m not quite ready yet, but I will be! This year we will be blessed to have Pastor Amy bring our Christmas message and I will bring our Christmas Eve message.
Our Christmas Eve message is titled, “A Misfit Christmas” and takes a look at the 1964 children’s classic Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer through the eyes of faith! Do you know someone who feels like they just don’t fit in? Great! Make sure to invite them to our Christmas Eve Service where we will discover that in Christ, elves who are dentists, reindeer with red noses, and even snow monsters have a place in God’s Kingdom!
Like all of our previous Christmas Eve services there will be time to light a memorial candle, sing Christmas carols, and finish the service by lighting a candle and singing Silent Night followed by light refreshments. But, we have a special hand-made gift for everyone this year and hope all of you will come and invite two or three others!
God’s message this week came from Matthew 1:18-25 and was titled, “Celebrate Advent: Be Amazed.” In this passage, Matthew describes a God who is not only amazing, but does amazing things Himself and through others! Jesus is born through the Holy Spirit and a willing devout teenage girl to “save his people from their sins” (v. 21) thus fulfilling the prophecy “the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel – which means, ‘God with us’” (vv. 22-23).
God is amazing and doing amazing things, but in this passage we discover Joseph and Mary really believe it! Mary responds to the angel “let it be done unto me”(Luke ) and Joseph trusts God by marrying her, having no relations with her, and giving the baby boy the name of Jesus. As Christians, we need to not only believe God is amazing and can do amazing things; we need to believe He could do amazing things through us!
Second, as the Body of Christ, we need to tell others God can do amazing things in their lives, too! Through Jesus, we not only receive salvation, but life to the full (John ). As Christian disciples at Christmastime, we are to joyfully proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ who saves us, sanctifies us, and prepares us for His return one day!
Finally, we are reminded “God is with us” (v. 23). God is not just with Nazarenes or even all Christians, but with everyone! Through the miracle of Christmas, God is with ALL OF US regardless of our past, present, or future! As the body of Christ we need to let “those people” know “God is with you.” As His disciples we want to help all people understand through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God is with them – speaking to them – and offering an abundant life through His Son, Jesus!
WED. NIGHT PRAYER MEETING AND ADULT BIBLE STUDY AT
Remember, while we still examine God’s Word, we are now singing and praying first to give us enough time to pray! This week we will examine “gentleness” in 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 as we near the end of our study on the Fruit of the Spirit. Hope to see you there!
Blessings! Pastor Dan
Hello from Pastor Amy, your Associate Pastor/Administrative Secretary
My office hours vary on Tuesdays, and you can always call! My responsibilities include preparing our weekly program, so if you have an event or 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
December Wednesday Night Potluck Dinner – THIS Wednesday Dec 18th
Our Wednesday 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 Weds, 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 to help!
Jonathan is going to Africa! Pray for him!
Jonathan Gingrich is one of our college students who attends Calvin College. He is leaving to visit Africa on th at th , and will be returning to Grand Rapids on at . Jonathan has a missionary heart with a passion to find ways to make sanitary water accessible in places around the world where it is not. His trip includes a visit to Mt. Kenya, Nairobi, Sedai, Samburu National Park, and more. Pray for safety in Johnathan’s travels, and that God would use this time for His glory! If you want to pray more specifically, see me for a copy of his schedule while there!
Jesus if Lord of All begins at the New Year!
To start the new year, we are going to be taking the church through a teaching and preaching series titled “Jesus is Lord of All.” For anyone who is interested, books are available for individual purchase. This is a great way to dig a little deeper into your personal discipleship, and we encourage EVERYONE to get a book. Scholarships are available if cost is an issue. See sign-up sheets on the table at the back of the sanctuary or talk to Pastor Dan. We are ordering soon!
ALL CHILDREN Invited to School
We have started a new th school class 15th for children ages 4 years old up to 5 grade. There will be lessons, crafts, snacks, songs, and lots of fun with Pastor Dan and Pastor Amy. The truth is, it will be more of a party than a class! Don’t forget, we have nursery, teens, and two adult classes as well! Class will meet downstairs in the children’s room at . See you there!
Christmas Eve Service – @
This is a very special service and is a great time to invite someone who normally does not come to church. This year’s theme is “A Misfit
Christmas.” We still 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? Talk to Pastor Dan.
Christmas and New Year’s Wednesday Night Cancellations
Please note that we will NOT be holding our regular Wednesday night Bible study on , nor on January 1st. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Snow Shoveling – Volunteers Wanted!
We could use some help sharing the responsibility of shoveling our walks this winter. If you live close and want to help, we usually shovel the walks at the following times: AM and PM, Wednesday PM, and AM. Talk to Pastor Dan or the trustees to help, or just show up with a shovel anytime you are available!
December 18 Wednesday Night Potluck Dinner @ , Bible study follows
Christmas Eve Service @
No Wednesday Night Bible Study – Merry Christmas!
No Wednesday Night Bible Study – Happy New Year!
First Chinese lunch, Hibachi Alpine
Family Church/Communion – No Children’s Church