Hello Dear Ones! He Has Risen! He Has Risen, Indeed!
God sent His Son – they called Him Jesus; He came to love, heal, and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon; an empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future; and life is worth the living – just because He lives! (Because He Lives # 256 – Sing to the Lord)
What a wonderful Easter Celebration we had in the Lord, Sunday! While we can celebrate the truth of Easter every morning, there is indeed something special about Easter Sunday!
What a blessing to see so many faces we hadn’t seen in a while and even many new ones! It was also a celebration in giving! A record $531.81 was given to the World Evangelism Fund and $2,177 was given in tithe! After singing our praise and hearing the Word preached, we concluded our worship with the Lord’s Supper. After our worship service ended, we more than 10 children gathered outside for an Easter Egg Hunt! He has risen, indeed! Praise God!
God’s message came to us from Acts 10:34-48 and titled, “Everyone is Invited to Easter!” As we celebrate Easter, it’s important to acknowledge and discomfort or prejudice that might keep us from extending welcome to everyone who is seeking the Risen Christ.
In Acts c. 10, the Spirit of Christ begins working on the Apostle Peter. Peter, who has spent 3 years with Christ, is still growing in grace. In fact, he remains prejudice, perhaps recalling his upbringing that taught Gentiles were subhuman dogs not worthy of God’s love. Who do you hope never feels welcome in our church? Who do you want to exclude from God’s love? We must be a church where Muslims, homosexuals, transgendered, prostitutes alcoholics, and drug addicts all feel welcome! Welcome isn’t the job of the greeter! It is everyone’s job!
Whatever the origin of Peter’s prejudice, he has a dramatic revelation and begins to preach to a crowd of Gentiles with these words: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right” (11:34).
Peter realizes through the H.S., God accepts everyone who reveres Him and does what is right. Do you now realize this? I pray you realize anyone including prostitutes, skinheads, homosexuals, and alcoholics could walk into our church, hear the gospel, turn to Christ, and be accepted by God and by this congregation (because they have!) Are you doing your part to invite and welcome the wrong people to Easter? Everyone is invited! May Jesus continue to astonish us with what He can do! The Risen Christ has come! Amen! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
EASTER W.E.F. MIRACLE OFFERING!
One of the joys of being your pastor is watching miraculous stories of faithfulness and sacrifice take place here over and over again. I can always tell when something special has happened in giving when Jerry Buning (a regular counter) approaches me with an astonished look on his face. Yesterday, Jerry came and reported we received $531.81 in our Easter World Evangelism Offering, a tithe of $2,177, and $2,807.81 in total giving!
Folks, this is nothing short of a miracle of God! I’m not sure what happened, but this I know – the Holy Spirit was moving and you responded obediently! Bless every one of you for your faithfulness and sacrifice! Your giving makes evangelism efforts around the world a reality! Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow! To God be the Glory!
EASTER EGG HUNT BLESSINGS!
10 children gathered and collected plenty of sweet treats at our Easter Egg Hunt after our worship service this year! Thank you to Janie, Steve, Jenn, and Jesse for leading the hunt and to Fran, Sherry, Tracy, Gary, and Janie for stuffing eggs! It was a wonderful joy to see all of the smiling faces collect their treasures! Bless you for your service!
PREACHING AND WORSHIP AMBASSADORS ARE COMING THIS WEEK (APR. 12)!
For five years now, Olivet Nazarene University has offered the ‘Preaching Ambassador Program.’ The preaching ambassador program gives students preparing for ministry an opportunity to preach at a local church while pursuing their academic degree, but also gives us an opportunity to see and hear “flesh and blood” examples of those we have supported at ONU. Last year, ONU added ‘worship leaders’ to this wonderful program! On Apr. 12 we welcome Pastor Esther Decker to preach the Word and Rosie Vavario to come lead our worship music! It will be a wonderful service! Please invite your friends!
OUR NEXT NORTHEAST COMMUNITY POTLUCK IS THIS WEEK (APR. 12)!
Remember! Our next Northeast Community Potluck is this week! So, bring a friend, your dish to pass, and join us and our Olivet Nazarene Ambassadors after the Apr. 12 worship service! If you could help set up, serve, or clean up, call Cherry P. at 916-7595.
NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH, APR. 16, (AT HIBACHI GRILL)
Our next Third Thursday Chinese Lunch is at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine (behind Target). Remember! It’s more than food! It’s a time to share our joys, concerns and even laugh! So grab a friend and come to Hibachi at 11:30! Questions? See Tracy or Linda!
SPRING CLEAN UP! SAT., APR. 18 - 9:00AM - 1:00PM - BRING RAKES!
To rewrite a familiar poem to serve our purposes:
“Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I wonder where the workers is?”
Well, according to Larry, the workers will arrive at 9:00am on Saturday, April 18th and work until 1:00pm. Seriously, with the snow gone it’s time to rake the last of the leaves and do general cleaning around the church! Everyone is invited! Hope to see you there!
Our next missionary gathering is Sun., Apr. 19th at 4pm at the church. Come enjoy a brief study, learn what our missionaries are doing, how to pray for them, and learn to be missionary in our own neighborhoods! We also enjoy snacks and laughter together! So bring a snack, a friend, (even an enemy!) and join us! You’ll be glad you did!
WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR YOU TO GROW?
God challenged me with three words a year ago: pray – grow – serve! Every Christian should be involved in praying! Every Christian should be involved in serving! And every Christian should be growing! Are you growing in your knowledge of God and His ways? Every Sun. Gerry prepares a great lesson that starts at 10am. Why aren’t you coming? What would it take to disciple you for 30 min. a week? What time - curriculum - place - medium would it take? We’re interested! We want to make sure everyone is growing!
Speaking of an opportunity to grow, the Wed. night study is a great opportunity. Dean often wonders why more don’t come, saying, ‘This is such good material.’ You’re right Dean! The study book we use is excellent! So, come, let your thirsty soul drink deeply in the Word, share burdens in prayer and even get an ice cream cone! You won’t regret it!
EAT SOUP AND GATHER BOX TOPS FOR NAZARENE INDIAN MISSIONS!
Did you know Campbell Soup labels and General Mills box tops are worth money? I sure didn’t, but that’s what Fran S. and Sherry J. shared with me recently. While it may seem insignificant, when many different churches work together, they really add up! In fact, they’ve allowed Nazarene Sun Valley Indian School in Sun Valley, AZ to buy computers, refrigerators, PA equipment and even a 15-passenger van! Want to do your part? Start collecting the labels and box tops and give them to Fran S. and Sherry J. Questions? See Fran or Sherry or go to this link:
MIDDLE EAST GARAGE SALE UPDATES AND DEADLINES!
The deadline to bring your things is Sun., Apr. 12th. While the sale is May 7-9, we need time to price, pack, and ship items to Wayland where Ron Morse will be selling them for us. We do need help pricing items Apr. 16 between 1:30-4:00pm (after Chinese lunch). We also need people willing to help load and unload the trailer being provided by Phil Pakiela on May 4 or 5. If you can help, please let Gerry D. or Pastor Dan know! Thanks!
5th ANNUAL KEEP ‘EM COVERED DIAPER DRIVE – MAY 03-31
Can you believe we have been collecting diapers for 5 years! How exciting! Well, we are once again holding a diaper drive for North End Community Mission (NECM) in Grand Rapids. We have found diapers are an incredible need because they aren’t provided by most assistance programs and are a huge expense for some of the ‘least of these.’ This year we would like to collect 1,200 diapers.
SPRING MISSIONS IGNITE SERVICE – SUN., MAY 03, 6:00PM IN SPARTA
Everyone is encouraged to attend our Spring 2015 Ignite: Missions in the Real World Service on May 03 at 6:00pm at our Sparta Church (665 13 Mi. Rd NW – Sparta) where we will hear from Andy and Judy Bennett, Global Missionaries to Papua New Guinea!
Ignite mission services are offered in each zone and have a time of worship, prayer for the missionaries and a simple fellowship to get to know them. It’s an opportunity to learn what God is doing in another part of the world and how your prayers and W.E.F. offerings are making a difference! If you need a ride or want to car pool, see Pastor Dan.
Have you ever wanted to run a 5k and just needed a little encouragement and support? Well, Janie (a newer runner) is planning to RUN FOR HUNGER to raise money and food for North End Community Ministry (NECM) on Jul. 11th and you’re invited to join her as she starts training on May 26th. Training begins with alternating minutes of running and walking and is open to everyone! The 5k takes place at Cornerstone University and you can find more information and/or register here: http://www.grrunagainsthunger.org
We will have an information meeting May 3rd after our morning worship service where we will discuss the training program, clothes to wear, and stretching and strengthening exercises to get you ready to start training! If you want more information, see Janie!
SUMMER CAMP IS COMING SOON! TIME TO REGISTER!
Indian Lake Nazarene Camp has a wonderful summer camp for students of all ages. At camp kids learn to feel good about themselves, gain self-confidence, self-esteem, learn leadership skills, make friends, and learn about God’s love for them! You can learn more by going to this link: http://www.nazcamp.org/camps
Discovery Camp Completed K – 2nd grade Jun. 29 – July 1
Adventure Camp Completed 2nd – 4th grade Jul. 06-10
Voyager Camp Completed 4th – 6th grade Jul. 20-24
Mid. School Camp Completed 6th – 8th grade Jun. 15-19
High School Camp Completed 9th – 12th grade Jun. 22-26
Note: All camps are $ 270 (except for Discovery Camp which is $ 120)
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER – MAY 07
The first Thursday of the May is always the National Day of Prayer in America. Look for an insert in the bulletin in late April to guide your prayers. If you’d like to come to the church to pray, the sanctuary will be open between 10:00am – Noon and you will have an opportunity to pray for America at our altar.
DO WE HAVE YOUR BIRTHDAY, ANNIVERSARY, AND EMAIL INFO?
As you have probably noticed, we put our church family’s birthdays and anniversaries in our weekly program. Do we have yours? If you’d like to be included, simply add your info to the ‘tear off tab’ and drop it in the offering plate or email Pastor Dan! Thanks!
WHO IS MISSING? SEND THEM A POSTCARD!
Is someone missing? Have you wondered why someone hasn’t been here in awhile? Or, maybe there’s someone you’d like to invite to church, a potluck, or Sun. school, but you weren’t sure how to go about it? Why not send a church postcard! If you want some, you can find them on the table under the mission bulletin board! Love God; love others!
GUIDELINES FOR PRAYER REQUESTS
Remember, to keep our prayer lists current, we only place requests in the newsletter and bulletin for 3 weeks without an update. If you want to keep your prayer request in the bulletin or newsletter just keep filling out the tear off tabs and keep us informed!
Apr. 12 ONU Preaching/Worship Ambassadors and NEC Potluck after the service
Apr. 12 Deadline to bring ‘garage sale stuff’ to church
May 03-31 5th Annual Diaper Drive
May 03 5k Run for Hunger Information Meeting (after worship)
May 07 National Day of Prayer