Northeast Community News – December 27, 2016
Dear Friends and Family!
Yes, we had two wonderful days in the Lord this last week! First, we gathered on Christmas Eve to celebrate the eve of Christ’s birth. We began that sacred candlelight service by remembering some had suffered loss this year. And so, as in years past, we symbolically brought our loss into the presence of our Savior by symbolically lighting a votive candle in the front of the sanctuary.
With our losses acknowledged and brought to Jesus we invited our Advent readers to lead us in lighting the Advent Wreath. Thanks to Phil and Cherry P. for reminding us Christ’s birth brings hope! Thanks to Mary W. and Anna B. for reminding us Christ’s birth brings peace! Thanks to Shannon M. and Jeff R. for reminding us Christ brings joy! And, thanks to Deb X. and Tian X. for reminding us Christ brings love!
Into this beautiful candlelit sanctuary Beverly S. led us in many Christmas Carols, and Steve H. in a responsive reading reminding us in Jesus, God had become Emmanuel – Christ with us! After Janie H. tenderly read the Christmas Story from Luke 2:1-20 and a Christmas Eve Reflection, we lit our own candles and sang Silent Night. Indeed, Christmas Eve was a holy night! After a short time of refreshment, we all went home filled with wonder, love, and praise! Thank you Jesus!
God’s Christmas message the next day came from Luke 2:8-14 and was titled, “Surprised by Joy.” While the majority of the evening news this year brought us ‘bad news,’ and we might be tempted to become bitter, cynical, and angry as a result, the angelic message of ‘good news of great joy’ first told to terrified shepherds in figurative and literal darkness reminds us Jesus is still the Light of the World who surprises an ever darkened world with the Light of redemption, grace, and joy! From the first hearers to those in dark times today hear the angelic message:
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).
It’s important we understand! In the very midst of the bad news that surrounded the people of Israel, Jesus came. This is the reason for our singing and our joy! The Light of the World came to the people of Israel in darkness, still comes today save us from our death and darkness! This joy that we possess is deeper than happiness! In fact, it is infectious! Not only does Jesus bring us a deep and profound joy, but He hopes and expects us to share this joy with others! This is what our ever darkening world is seeking! To be caught by surprise by the hope, peace, love, and joy of Jesus! Joy to the World indeed! (why?) because, The Lord has come! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
NORTH END COMMUNITY MINISTRY FUND RAISER
NECM is one the local organizations our church supports. They benefit from our annual diaper drive and when we receive extra items for our care kits, we send the items to them. They have been named as a recipient of gift cards from the Meijer Corporation “Simply Give” program at the Plainfield Meijer until December 31, 2016. If someone wants to participate, all they have to do is present a donation card to the cashier at the PlainfieldMeijer’s and $10.00 will be added to their total grocery bill. The cards are available on the table at the back of the church or from Gerry Dawson. This is a great way to support NECM.
HOLIDAY SERVICE SCHEDULE
ATTENTION TEENS! FREE WINTER JAM 2017 CONCERT – JAN. 08 – ARE YOU IN?
Janie has declared Winter Jam 2017 at the Van Andel Arena a must go to concert for all teens and young adults. Bands will include: Crowder, Tenth Avenue North, Britt Nicole, and Thousand Foot Krutch! It is already a deal at 10 bands for $10 bucks, but for teens the cost is FREE! Janie convinced the church to pay your way! You gotta go! Young adults can come, too, but they’ll need to pay the $10! What’s stopping you? Text your friends and then RSVP Janie at firstname.lastname@example.org or text her at 616.204.2499! What a great way to start your New Year! Are you in? Hope so!
ATTENTION ALL KNITTERS
The stewards will be collecting items for bags for the homeless after the holidays. If you are a knitter and can make hats and/or mittens for men or women, they would love to add them to the bags. A complete list of all items will be available later.
CHANGES TO THE ORDER OF SERVICEChanges have been made in the order of our worship service. The “Time of Greeting” has been eliminated. Please greet friends and visitors before and after service in the refreshment/classroom area. The sanctuary will be available for prayer and quiet reflection before the service. Please be respectful of those praying as you enter.
THE PATH OF A PEACEMAKER
On Saturday January 21, 2017 the Michigan District is sponsoring “The Path of a Peacemaker” workshop at the Perry Church of the Nazarene. The Path of a Peacemaker is intended to assist all believers in resolving conflicts biblically with one another. The goal of Path is to bring healing, reconciliation, and restoration to relationships among believers in Christ. Through its use ministries will be renewed, grace will be promoted, and the witness of Christ greatly enhanced. The cost is $10.00. If you think you might be interested in attending, please see Pastor Dan.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2017 WORK & WITNESS PROJECT:
I'm writing to invite you and any members of your church to be a part of the largest Nazarene Work & Witness project called, One Heart - Many Hands Indianapolis 2017! This week-long service project will take place June 18-23. In a recent conversation with Dr. David Downs, the District Superintendent of the West Texas District, it came to my attention that many pastors are under the impression that One Heart - Many Hands (OHMH) projects are just for youth groups. In actuality, OHMH is a Work & Witness project geared for the entire church to participate in. Many churches bring multi generational groups who work on the project and learn from each other. In past General assembly years we have averaged 2000 Nazarenes serving together with OHMH to leave the fingerprints of God all over the General Assembly host city. I'm sure you receive hundreds of emails each year encouraging you and your church to be a part of something… OHMH is a unique Work & Witness project that not only affords your group the opportunity to be involved in missions together but also to experience the Global Church of the Nazarene in a very visible and tangible way as team members participate in the General Assembly services. Would you prayerfully consider encouraging your church to take advantage of this opportunity to serve alongside thousands of Nazarenes this summer in Indianapolis? For more information about this service project please contact our office at email@example.com or visit our website at www.oneheartmanyhands.com. Thank you, George Sisler
GATHER BOX TOPS FOR NAZARENE INDIAN MISSIONS!
Thank you to everyone who is collecting Campbell Soup labels and General Mills box tops! While it seems small, the cash they generate really adds up! This program has provided PA equipment, computers, and even a 15-passenger van for Nazarene Sun Valley Indian School. Questions, labels and box tops should go to Fran S. or Sherry J.
CHURCH POSTCARDS ARE AVAILABLE!
Is there someone missing or would like to invite to church? Why not grab a few church postcards and send them out? A simple hand written note blesses everyone! You will find them on the table under the missionary bulletin board in the Annex.
DAILY DEVOTIONS – “REFLECTING GOD” IS AVAILABLE! FREE!!
“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! Feel free to take one! You’ll find them located on the table outside the sanctuary!
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!
Jan. 22 Missions Sunday