Dear Friends and Family!
What a wonderful week we had in the Lord! Not only did many of us have a wonderful time at District Assembly and Camp Meeting at Indian Lake, but our service with visiting Pastor Mandy Earley was wonderful too! While many were on vacation and travelling this week, we met many new friends including Pastor Mandy’s friend and 3 children and several old friends including Alannah, Allegra, Morgan, and Alannah’s friend, Grayson. God is good!
God’s message this week came from Ephesians 2:11-22 and titled, “All In.” Her message began by focusing us on our differences. We have different backgrounds and experiences, different addresses, and different personalities. Before Christ, Jews were very aware and proud that they were different (superior as God’s chosen people). Before Jesus, non-Jews were separated from God and were hopeless. Paul wrote, “…remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12).
As the people of God today do we ever let our differences separate people from God? Do we ever feel superior and leave others feeling hopeless? God help us! You see in the very next verse Paul reminds the formerly excluded, “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13).
When Jesus came, Pastor Mandy said, He changed the rules! In His death on the Cross, Jesus destroyed the barrier, removed the dividing wall of hostility, and reconciled us to God and to each other (Eph. 2:14-18). Citing the Message she declared:
“This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together” (Eph. 2:19b-22).
Pastor Mandy concludes if we are equal and Christ is indeed dwelling in us, we ought to be different! What we do, say, think, and act ought to be different! Our Facebook posts ought to be different. Our service should be different. She said, “I want to be so full of Christ that when a mosquito bites me he flies away singing, ‘there is power in the blood.’” May our hands, feet, and lives reflect Christ’s Spirit that lives within us! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
LADIES RENDEZVOUS – TUE., JULY 21 and SAT., July 25
What could be better than a monthly ladies rendezvous? Two of them of course! Cherry heard from those who cannot come on Sat. and added a Tue. option! Praise the Lord! So, now ladies can get together on Tue., July 21 or Sat., July 25between 10:30am - noon! All ladies are invited and welcome! Need a ride? More info? Call Cherry at (616) 916-7595.
CAMP MEETING IS OVER… OR IS IT?
Camp Meeting for 2015 has come to a close. 90% of those who spent the week at Indian Lake will go back home and the once noisy place filled with golf carts, bikes, children’s laughter, teen pranks, and long nights around the campfire reflecting on God will soon be replaced with the sound of relative silence as the camp returns to a population of about 175 people returning to ‘normal life’ at the campground.
While in some ways, camp is over this year, in other ways it has only begun as what has been learned and revealed spreads across the state of Michigan in 75 churches. We are not exempt from this effect…. God continues to challenge us as we return home! Wish you could have gone to hear the messages? It’s not too late! The District has recorded the messages for anyone to see online (the link is below). Be blessed and be moved!
NAZARENE MISSIONS INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Our next missionary gathering is Sun., Jul. 26th at 4pm at the church. Come enjoy a brief study, learn what our missionaries are doing, how to pray for them, and learn how to be missionary in your own neighborhood! 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!
Do you realize there are people in Grand Rapids who are hungry? There is more need than you ever and Jesus told us we love and serve Him by caring for those who hunger, are in prison, are thirsty, and those who are sick (see Matt. 25:35-36). Your NMI council is committed to loving God and others in other countries and at home! One way to do this is to partner with North End Community Ministry (NECM), pay for a dinner to feed 150 people, and serve at the ‘Supper House’ located at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church. Are you willing to help? (we need 10 servers). See Gerry Dawson if you are interested!
NEW Missionary Books are available! There are books designed for children, youth, and adults to learn about missions. Our goal is to have 100 books read and there will be prizes for the first adults, teens, and children who read them! See Sherry our new NMI President! Speaking of books, keep reading about one of our children, Isis!
MISSIONARY BOOK REPORT BY ISIS
Isis is a relatively new comer to our church. She was invited by her friend Savannah and is a voracious reader! In fact, she completed her last Missionary book this week! And so, even though it is summer break, I asked her if she would be willing to do a book report on one of the books she read… guess what? She cheerfully said, ‘Yes!’ This is her report:
Book Report about
This book was dedicated to Moore,
Oklahoma residents who battled a tornado
and to the compassionate people throughout
the United States who decided to help.
First, it was a real tornado but nobody
didn’t know until the teacher told the
student that “this is not a drill it’s a real
tornado.” Lauren was mad I could tell
cause the way she said, “ew,”
as the tornado was approaching.
Justin’s legs felt like rubber
while Justin was on the floor
he’s gonna pray.
Justin said, “Please God, keep us safe
and make the tornado leave us alone.”
Secondly and lastly two kids were
lost but now they’re found.
Thank you Isis! What a beautiful reminder that no matter what age we are, we are never too old or too young to pray! And God was faithful! Amen! But your report also reminds us you’re never too old or too young to serve God, too! Bless you for using your God given gifts and passions for the Kingdom of God! May we all follow your example!
What about you, reader? Are you willing to use your gifts for God? The Kingdom of God here at Northeast Community needs song leaders, vocalists, musicians, teachers, and a myriad of other workers. I pray we all learn to say ‘Yes’ as Isis did! God bless you Isis!
WED. NIGHT BIBLE STUDY IS HAPPENING! COME BE A PART!
So, something seems to be happening on Wed. night. For several weeks two pre-teens have come and been a part of us. For whatever reason, I think this is just the beginning! Regardless of your age or whatever might be keeping you away, why don’t you come and join us this week at 6:30pm for a time of singing, prayer, and study. Remember, we always end our night with ice cream! Come and be blessed! You’ll be glad you did!
OUR NEXT NORTHEAST COMMUNITY POTLUCK IS AUG. 09
Just a reminder! Our next Northeast Community Potluck is Aug. 09th. So, bring a friend, an enemy, a perfect stranger, and a dish to pass and join us downstairs in the fellowship hall after worship for a time of food, fun, and fellowship! If you would be willing to help set up, serve, or clean up, please call Cherry Pakiela at (616) 916-7595
NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH, AUG. 20, (AT HIBACHI GRILL)
Our next Third Thursday Chinese Lunch is at the Hibachi Grill located 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!
DAILY DEVOTIONS – REFLECTING GOD IS AVAILABLE!
“Reflecting God” is a daily devotional guide our church makes available free to anyone interested. The devotions provide a brief truth from the Bible every day. Reflecting God also has a section for reading the Bible in a year and praying for our missionaries!
JUST A REMINDER! NO CHILDREN’S CHURCH IN JUL. AND AUG.
Yes, we love your children and agree kids can worship and learn about Jesus better when they can create something with their hands, receive a snack to eat, and move around, but our children's workers are taking vacation, so for the next 2 months the kids are staying in the worship service with us! Bless you for understanding!
EAT SOUP AND GATHER BOX TOPS FOR NAZARENE INDIAN MISSIONS!
Remember! Campbell Soup labels and General Mills box tops are worth cash! While it seems small, it really adds up! This program has provided PA equipment, computers, and even a 15-passenger van for Nazarene Sun Valley Indian School. Give your labels and box tops to Fran S. and Sherry J. See Fran or Sherry if you have any questions.
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!
Jul.-Aug. No Children’s Church in Jul. and Aug.