Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NE COMMUNITY NEWS - March 10, 2014

Northeast Community News – March 10, 2014
Good morning Dear Ones!
We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! Our day began with a wonderful time of prayer around the altar, a great Sunday school hour (hint, hint) and a great worship service! Last Wednesday began the 40-day period (we do not count Sunday’s) of Lent leading to Easter. Lent, a practice begun in the 4th century to focus on spiritual disciplines, is an opportunity of reflection, realignment, and repentance.
We began our observance last Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) with an opportunity to ‘receive the ashes.’ In a simple gesture of humility adults and teens received an ash cross on their foreheads and heard, “From dust you came and to dust you shall return.” It is a moment when we understand we are set apart! Unlike the larger culture, Lent is a time when Christians set aside ‘good things’ to seek ‘best things.’
God’s message this week came from Mark 1:9-15 and was titled, “The Time has Come.” Mark uses a very revealing verb as he describes Jesus baptism: “As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove”(Mark 1:10).  Unlike the other Gospels, Mark describes heaven being ‘torn open’ and the Spirit descending. Mark uses this verb one more time in his gospel account in just after Jesus dies on the cross: “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Mark 15:38). Like an invasion, Jesus came to earth to seek and save the lost and in His death on the cross salvation was made possible for all of us! Hallelujah!
Jesus wastes no time as He begins His ministry after his baptism to offer salvation to all of us: “…Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15).  In the Message Jesus words are translated: “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.” Mark’s account comes at us fast and hard. There is urgency in Jesus words. We must not wait. The time for salvation is now! The kingdom is here! Repent and believe! Ask the Holy Spirit to search you and then make the change…today!
Finally, while the invasion began 2000+ years ago in a crude manger and we will all face temptation until Jesus’ second coming and the Evil One is destroyed forever, we need to be remember through the Holy Spirit Jesus offers us victory today! In the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the long silence is broken, dawn broke, and God entered the fray. Through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit Jesus emerges from that 40-day battle with temptation victorious. But the good news is through His death, resurrection, and the power of Pentecost, Jesus gives us the power to live victoriously, too!
Where has the Evil One bound you – distracted you – kept you in secret sin or living a life less than God intended? Ask the Holy Spirit to search you and reveal these areas to you and then confess and repent! Some of us need to fast something (food, technology, shopping, talking, or Facebook), but all of us need more time in prayer and in the Word.  Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here! Change your life and believe the Message! Amen!
Love and blessings, Pastor Dan 
This week we complete our study on Jesus is Lord with ‘Lordship Training 101.’ Please read c. 9 of the book to be prepared! Our youth and children are also taking part in this study! Hope to see you there! (at the parsonage!)
Perhaps our attendance is low because it has been a long cold winter? Who knows! But, as stewards of God’s money, we think it makes more sense to meet at Pastor’s house across the parking lot instead of heating the whole church. So this week we will start meeting on Wed. (babies, kids, teens, adults) next door until it makes sense to go back!
We are once again collecting diapers for North EndCommunity Ministry in NE GR as part of the ‘First Steps  - Keep ‘Em Covered’ Diaper Drive’. Why you ask? Because Jesus calls us to care for the ‘least of these’ (see Matt. 25:31-46). Why do we consider many of our babies in Kent County ‘the least of these?’ Consider these facts:
  1 out of every 4 babies born in Kent County is born into poverty and safety net programs such as W.I.C. and food stamps do NOT cover the cost of diapers!
  Most childcare centers do not accept cloth diaper, many families have limited access to laundry facilities, and many coin-operated laundry facilities cannot allow cloth diapers for health reasons.
  Babies need 6-10 diapers a day, but sadly many babies are often forced to spend the entire day or longer in a single diaper, because the family cannot afford them.
  Studies show a baby crying from being in a soiled diaper for a prolonged period of time is at a greater risk for physical abuse by the caregiver.
This year, our goal will be to collect 1,500 diapers. There is a playpen set up in the back of the sanctuary for you to place your diapers through April 13th – Bless you for helping! NEXT MISSIONARY GATHERING – SUN., MAR. 23 at 4:00PM
In February we tried an experiment! We wondered if anyone would gather to join in an intentional hour or so on missions? The few minutes each month just seemed too little to share everything happening in missions. So, the food was prepared, the chairs set up, the lesson prepared on Feb. 16 and then we waited! Well, I am delighted to tell you 15 came to the first ‘missions gathering’ and it was such a success the Mission Council has decided to try it again for another month or two to see if there is interest!
So, invite a friend, bring a snack food, and gather with us in the basement of the house where Pastor and Janie live across the parking lot (883 Fuller Ave NE) on March 23 at 4:00PM. Food, fun, fellowship and a lesson on missions! It’s going to be a good time!
Don’t forget! Bring a dish to pass and enjoy the fun, food, and fellowship! It really is fun!
Everyone is invited to Hibachi Grill on Alpine (behind Target) at 11:30am on the first Friday of every month! The food is inexpensive, delicious, and the fellowship is even better. Talk to Tracy Tamm if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!
Ok, you guys are either really wonderful and are being moved mightily by God or you’re just plain crazy! We just received another $39.61 in Alabaster last week raising the total received now to $545.76!! That’s just incredible! Thank you for saying a big YES to God!
From time to time someone in the church will come up to me and say, ‘Hey, where is so and so?’ While I often have an idea, it’s up to ALL OF US to love, encourage, and hold one another up! So, if you notice someone missing, give them a call or send them an email! You have no idea how much it means to be ‘missed.’ Remember, we really are in this whole ‘body of faith’ thing together! Bless you for caring!
We’re planning to decorate the church again for Easter Sunday and you can help by ordering flowers in ‘honor’ or ‘memory’ of a loved one and then take them home on Easter Sunday! Look for more details and order form coming soon!
The Kingdom of God needs EVERYONE to get involved, but we often make it hard to figure out exactly how to get involved! We’re sorry about that! If you would like to serve contact Pastor Dan to see how we can plug you in! We really do need you!

Mar. 16-Apr. 13        Keep ‘Em Covered Diaper Drive
Mar. 20              Spring begins (no really it really does begin Mar. 20)
Mar. 23              Missionary Gathering (4:00pm at the parsonage)
Mar. 26              Wed. night potluck (5:30pm at the parsonage)
Apr. 04              First Friday Chinese Lunch at Hibachi Grill on Alpine (11:30)
Apr. 20              Easter – He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
Apr. 26              Ladies Day at Olivet Nazarene University!
May 11              Mother’s Day

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