Northeast Community News – January 14, 2014
Ever felt like you just got off a roller coaster? As I sit here to write the Newsletter this week just days after we said goodbye to Pastor Amy, Theo, and the boys I feel that same dizzy, slightly nauseous, but can’t wait to do it again feeling I got every time I finished riding a big roller coaster! It seems like yesterday Pastor Amy and Theo arrived at our church, but in truth it has been over 4 years!
In that time we have watched Theo and Pastor Amy grow and grow and grow! It has been exciting to watch them trust in Christ, be baptized, and then watch what God can do! Together, we watched as they became church members, board members, beautifully married, and had two beautiful children. We were thrilled to hear God had then called Pastor Amy to preach His Gospel and then she became our Associate Pastor! Wow!
Well, two weeks ago I received ‘word’ God had provided them a new opportunity to continue growing! While growth is always good, it is often filled with bittersweet moments like when Pastor Amy advised us she had finalized her plans to resign her position with us to become the Associate Pastor at Muskegon Breakwater. Boo for us! Yea for Muskegon! While I had hoped we would have time to throw a party, Pastor Amy felt certain God wanted her to move quickly! (which is often best on us, really!)
So, at the end of the worship service where we declared ‘Jesus is Lord’ not only in words but in action, we presented Pastor Amy, Theo, and the boys as living example to us here in the 21st century of a family who not only said ‘Jesus is Lord,’ but live it out! So, after sharing a few words and a financial gift and card given, we surrounded them at the altar as a congregation and Cherry, Rev. Christopher, and I lifted them up to God and prayed His best on them knowing they chose obedience to Christ over comfort, fear, or compromise. God is good! While I knew this day would eventually come, I had secretly hoped it wouldn't be for many years! Still, what a ride! Let’s do it again! Amen!
As I eluded to earlier, God’s message to us this week was the first in a series examining what it means to declare, “Jesus is Lord” and came from Matthew 16:13-16. While our politicians seek pollsters to know how to respond, Christians seek Christ!
Three brief points: first, Jesus is interested in what pre-Christian’s think. In v. 13b Jesus asks, “Who do the people say the Son of Man is?” Jesus challenged the disciples to know what the crowd thought and tell Him. Do you know what your friends, coworkers, and classmates think about who Jesus is? Be honest! Tell Jesus the truth; He can handle it!
Second, the disciples tell Jesus the truth in v. 14. In essence, they think He is just one among many who came before.“They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’” Who do your friends think Jesus is? I have heard a nice guy, a great moral teacher, or even a sadly misguided man. But there is a growing number of people who question whether Jesus even existed at all!
This leads us to the third and most important point. Jesus asks His disciples in v. 15, “But what about you?... Who do you say I am?” Jesus is preparing for the Cross and wants to know if after three years the disciples have grasped His true identity? Can He count on them to ‘bear witness’ of Him to the world who does not know Him after He is gone? Can He count on you to bear witness?
Simon Peter responds in v. 16, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter does not say ‘You might be’ or ‘You probably are’ or ‘let me check with a pollster, first,’ Peter declares as empowered by the Holy Spirit ‘YOU ARE THE CHRIST.’ Peter’s witness was bold and left no wiggle room! He crossed the line! Is Jesus the Lord in your life? Does He rule in your heart? Will you go where He sends? This week we watched with a mixture of joy and sadness as Pastor Amy, Theo, Theo II, and Remington did just that! Amen!
Love and blessings, Pastor Dan!
NEWS AND EVENTS
JESUS IS LORD BEGAN LAST WEEK! NEED A BOOK?
Last week we started a 7-week study on what it means to say, “JESUS IS LORD” based on the Bible of course! But we will also use a book written by Dr. Frank Moore titled ‘Jesus Is Lord’ during our adult and youth Bible studies on Wed. night. Until they are gone, books will be available on a table at the back of the sanctuary. This is a great way to dig deeper into your personal discipleship, and we encourage EVERYONE to get a book. Scholarships are available if $$ is an issue. See Pastor Dan if you have questions!
WEDNESDAY NIGHT PRAYER AND BIBLE STUDY AT – JESUS IS LORD!
This week we will examine Jesus is Lord: Can I Get a Witness! Please read chapters 1-2 of the book, “Jesus is Lord.” I strongly urge you to get a book if you are part of the Bible study and see no reason why one couldn’t be shared. Our youth and children will also be taking part in this study! Hope to see you there!
2014 TITHE ENVELOPES ARE AVAILABLE!
Christian disciples cheerfully give God their time, talent, and treasure! If you would like to have your own box of tithe envelopes, see Shannen Parsaca or Pastor Dan.
CRISIS CARE KITS & LOCAL MISSION HELP: KICKING OFF (THIS WEEK!)
Crisis Care Kits are a cooperative effort between Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and Nazarene Missions International. The kits are sent all over the world to places like Belize, California, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Jordan, Louisiana, Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, and Zambia. Every year in February, our local Nazarene Missions International Council asks us to join the effort by collecting specific items. The ‘overflow’ will be donated to North End Community Ministry. Bless you for helping!
TEAM DAY 2014 – (EARLY REG DEADLINE )
All three Michigan Districts are joining together again for one big day of inspiration, information and training at Perry High and Middle Schools between . There will be workshops on General Leadership, Worship and Technology, Missions, Discipleship, and Children’s and Youth Ministries. The cost is $25 if you give your registration to Shannen before Feb. 02nd and $35 before Feb. 23rd (no late reg. is accepted). Need more info? See Pastor Dan, grab a brochure, or check out this link!http://www.minaz.org/files/
Note: Because the Team Day organizers have requested one registration per church, please coordinate your registration through Pastor Dan and Shannen Parsaca!
MISSIONARY SUNDAY NIGHT SERVICE -
Do you like missions? Do you want to know more about what our Missionaries are doing around the world? Do you like cookies? If you answered YES to any of these questions then you will want to come to our great experiment: an evening Missionary Service at firstname.lastname@example.org! Bring a friend and plan to learn and laugh! If you have any questions, see Janie or email her at:
NEXT ALABASTER OFFERING IS !
Our next Alabaster Offering will take place on Sunday, Feb. 16th. This is a “loose change” offering we take up twice a year and every penny of the proceeds goes directly to the mission field to purchase land and buildings. If you would like an Alabaster box to start filling, just ask Janie in the sound booth on Sunday morning. Thank you!
NEXT FIRST FRIDAY CHINESE LUNCH –
Everyone is invited to Hibachi Grill on Alpine (behind Target) at on the first Friday of every month! The food is cheap, delicious, and the fellowship is even better. Talk to Tracy Tamm if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!
INTERESTED IN MEMBERSHIP?
We have had two recently indicate an interest in membership and are considering forming a series of 4 classes beginning in February. If you are interested in learning more about the Church of the Nazarene or becoming a member of our church, please let Pastor Dan know by calling (616-204-1153) or emailing (email@example.com) him!
A FEW MISFIT CHRISTMAS EVE CROSSES STILL AVAILABLE!
On Christmas Eve we examined our faith through the eyes of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Hermie the Dentist, Yukon Cornelius the failed Peppermint Mine Prospector, and through the eyes of an island of rejected and unloved misfit toys they discovered. Like these misfits, Romans reminds us we are all misfits, too! But through Jesus’ birth, death of the cross, and resurrection, we have ALL been sought out, offered grace, and received a welcome place in the Kingdom just the way we are through Jesus!
The cross reminds us we ALL have a place in the Kingdom! If you need a reminder, take a cross home! But, others need to know this, too! Do you know someone who needs to know God loves them, regardless of their flaws? Take them a cross in Jesus’ Name! You will find a small wooden cross on the table outside the sanctuary! Take one! Share one!
JOHNATHAN IS IN AFRICA! PLEASE PRAY!
Jonathan Gingrich is one of our college students attending Calvin College and left for Africa on Jan. 6th on a mission trip. He will be returning to Grand Rapids on Jan. 27th and will be visiting Mt. Kenya, Nairobi, Sedai, and other places! According to his schedule he is in the village of Sedai this week meeting with village elders, building housing, doing cultural interviews, and surveying their current water supplies. (FYI: Jonathon feels called to create new water purification methods in the mission field and this is why he is attending Calvin College! How God like that he will get to see their needs first hand!). Pray for safety in Jonathan’s travels, and that God would use this time for His glory!
KEEP ‘EM COVERED DIAPER DRIVE IS COMING !
This just in! Our third annual First Steps ‘Keep ‘Em Covered’ diaper drive will take place between . Get ready to love the little ones from the bottom up!
DO YOU LIKE TO SHOVEL SNOW?
Me neither! But it has to be done and Pastor Dan does the majority of it! If you would like to help we try to clear the walks every day, but especially for our treasurer on Mon. AM, Emotions Anonymous Tue. PM, and for Wed. night and Sun. morning activities. See Pastor Dan if you would like to help!
Crisis Care Kits Start!
First Friday Chinese Lunch at Hibachi
Missionary Service at , Alabaster Offering
TEAM DAY – Early Reg. Due by
Mission Mania – details to come!
Ladies Day at Olivet Nazarene University – details to come!