Northeast Community News – December 6, 2016
Dear Friends and Family!
Yes, we had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! This Sunday we celebrated the second Sunday of Advent! Advent challenges us to set aside time in the middle of the busy Christmas time and focus on the meaning of Christmas: Christ! Immanuel! God with us!
Rhonda H. further challenged us by leading us in our Advent Wreath Lighting and Responsive Reading. In the new Kingdom Jesus brings she reminded us wolves will lie down with the lambs; leopards lie down with goats and I would add ‘donkey folks’ will get along with ‘elephant folks,’ too. Has Jesus brought you peace? Where might you need to extend a bit more grace?
God’s message this week came from Matthew 3:1-12 and was titled, “Less Fear; More Fruit!” Sociologists tell us we live in a ‘culture of fear,’ that is a culture fueled, driven, and directed not by confidence or hope, but by fear. Fueling this fear is a news media running 24/7, social media lacking editorial oversight, and 21st century ‘snake oil salesmen’ who have discovered they can increase their power and influence by convincing audiences to be very afraid and offer a cure.
While there are some fears that are appropriate, even wholesome. For example, if fear leads you to wear your seatbelt, stop smoking (or better yet never start) excellent! But as Christians we are called to reject fears that are inappropriate and paralyzing and live our lives recognizing God is in charge and while; Some trust in chariots and some in horses; we will trust in the name of the Lord! (Psalm 20:7). As the Psalmist writes, Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
So are you? As you are surrounded by a culture growing more and more fearful are you trusting in the name of the Lord or a politician (snake oil salesman) to save you? As you hear the newest report of the newest terrorist threat do you really ‘know’ that HE IS GOD and HE is in charge?
This is important because in our familiar text (“Repent, for the kingdom is near” Matthew 3:2), John encounters some Pharisees and Sadducees who desire baptism, but he questions their motives (Matt. 3:7) and declares, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt 3:8).
The obvious question is, “What evidence?” What does fruit in keeping with repentance actually look like? In Luke’s account, we get a specific answer: “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same” (Luke 3:11).
This is why knowing and trusting Christ instead of a politician is so important! While fear leads to paralysis, faith leads to action and fruitful living! Are you filled with fear, worry, and anxiety this year? Perhaps you need to hear the angelic response once more! “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
We will again be ordering poinsettias to decorate the sanctuary for Christmas Eve and Christmas day services. The cost of the 6 ½ pots will be $6.60. Order forms will be in the program for the next three Sundays. All orders must be in by Sunday December 11, 2016.
OUR NEXT 3RD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH IS THIS THURSDAY NOV. 17!
Our next Third Thursday Chinese Lunch is this Thursday, Nov 17, at 11:30 am at the Hibachi Grill on Alpine. The food is good, but the fellowship is even better! Come, enjoy a great time to eat, share joys, concerns and even laugh! If you have any questions? See Tracy or Linda!
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! That’s right, zip, zero, nada, because Janie convinced the church to pay your way! What? Yeah, now, ya 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 SERVICE
Changes 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.
CHRISTMAS SERVICES SCHEDULE
Saturday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Service (time to be determined)
Sunday, December 25 – Christmas Day worship service 10:00 AM – no Sunday School
Sunday, January 1 – New Year’s Day worship service 10:00 AM – no Sunday School
NORTH END COMMUNITY MINISTRY FUND RAISERNECM 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. From October 30 to December 31, 2016. If someone wants to participate, all they have to do is present a donation card to the cashier at the Plainfield Meijer’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 for from Gerry Dawson. This is a great way to support NECM.
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.
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!
Dec. 16 Third Thursday Chinese Lunch @ Hibachi Grill on Alpine 11:30 AM
Dec. 24 Christmas Eve
Dec. 25 Christmas Day
Jan. 1 New Year’s Day