Dear Friends and Family!
What a wonderful day we had in the Lord, Sunday! It is always amazing what happens when the church gathers before the Light of the World! Speaking of light, you may have already noticed, but over the next two weeks the trustees are replacing the older bulbs in the hanging fixtures with newer LED bulbs (courtesy of a special gift from Terry B)! Terry says these new bulbs not only use less electricity, but they’ll last 22 years before burning out! How old will you be in 22 years? I’ll be 76 when they need replacing! Thanks Terry! God is good! All the time! Amen!
God’s message this week came from Matt. 25:31-46 and was titled, “Jesus Incognito.” Where can we find Jesus? Some have humorously ‘discovered’ Jesus in Cheetos, pancakes, pizzas, and a grilled cheese sandwich. Not to be outdone, scientists have discovered a nebula that exists 2,700 light years away that looks so much like Jesus, it’s been nicknamed the Jesus Nebula.
But, Jesus gives us a different answer in Matthew 25:31-46. In vv. 35-36 we read, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36).
Where can we find Jesus? We find Jesus among the hungry, the thirsty, the immigrants, the naked, sick and those in prison. These words would have shocked the first hearers! The Jewish people expected a Messiah to be a strong warrior – a winner – not one identifying with losers.
Do we ever think of Jesus this way? I imagine many would prefer Jesus came back and kicked some butt in America! But this isn’t the way Jesus comes. In Matthew, Jesus comes, but not as a warrior or king, but in the form of those who are poor, rejected, forgotten, left behind, and ignored by our culture, and sometimes, even by the church.
So, where is Jesus? Where should we look? Where can we find our Lord? Hint: It’s not in the powerful places of the rich and famous! No, you will find Jesus in the trailers of the poor. You will find Him in the refugee camps, behind bars, in the orphanages, and among the in Grand Rapids. He will be with the alcoholic drinking herself to death, the drug addicted dying without treatment, the aging whose only friends are memories, the bruised and neglected child, the schizophrenic haunted by voices, and the wife afraid of her husband. He’s near every person who has ever been lonely, afraid, depressed, burned out, aimless, and abandoned.
Are you looking for Jesus? You can find Him as close as next door, but I must warn you, Jesus Incognito is the most inconvenient, demanding, and persistent messiah you will ever meet. Are you ready to be the church? Let’s begin by loving the least of these! Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
WED. NIGHT HAS MOVED TO THE PARSONAGE!
Our Wed. night Bible study for all ages will meet at the parsonage across the parking lot (883 Fuller Ave NE). By doing this, we are being good stewards by not spending the money needed to heat the church over the winter. The Study will still be from 6:30-7:30 and we will still eat ice cream! Invite a friend and come over!
WANTED: SINGERS FOR THE EASTER CANTATA
Beginning this Saturday, February 11th, at 12 PM, join us at the church for a listening preview of the Easter cantata we will be doing, along with some practice.
FEBRUARY IS ALABASTER MONTH
Please be sure to fill up those alabaster boxes at home. Don’t have one? That is easily solved as there are extra boxes at church to be used. Save those coins, dollar bills, gold, silver, or cash in those pop cans. This money will be collected February 26th. Mark it on your calendar!
CHURCH POTLUCK – 2/12/17
Come enjoy the worship service and stay for lunch! There is always plenty of food and good fellowship with others.
NEXT THIRD THURSDAY CHINESE LUNCH @ HIBACHI GRILL ON ALPINE AVE:
Meet us there and enjoy the food and fellowship on February 16th. Meet at the restaurant at 11:30 AM.
NEXT LADIES RENDEZVOUS:
Join in the fun and fellowship with other ladies from our church. We will be meeting Saturday, February 25th, at 10:30AM at the church. Bring along your own craft to work on, or assist with another craft (making cards for Tracy to send to church people), or just sit and enjoy the conversation! Call/text Cherry for rides or information @ 616-916-7595. See you there!!!
STILL NEEDED: ONE CHILDREN’S CHURCH TEACHER
Please contact Mary W. to help with this need. While most of the weeks have a teacher and a helper, one more teacher is still needed. Is God calling you to do this?
TEAM Day 2017 IS COMING TO Perry Michigan again on March 18, 2017. We are looking forward to a full day of inspiration, motivation, rekindling friendships, networking with others, and soaking up the possibilities for ministry in your local community. Our goal every year is that people will make connections with ministries, and to be encouraged to look for the possibilities for ministry in their community. TEAM Day is about letting you meet and talk to other people from around our three Michigan Districts and our Educational Region, and see the opportunities for ministry that are in our communities. We have workshops on many topics that are vital in the church (leadership, worship, discipleship, missions, children, youth). We will have an enlightening worship service to start the day. Lunch is included on the campus of the school. There are ministry vendors that will be available throughout the day to discuss specific ministries that you may want to participate Some of you may say “But I am already so busy, I am tired…”; this is a chance to recharge your batteries. This is a chance to see others who are also busy, and to encourage each other. You are not serving on an island, we need to support and encourage each other. TEAM Day is one way that we can help do that. Mark your calendars (Saturday, March 18, 2017 at Perry Michigan from 8 am to 4 pm). Visit the website www.minaz.org/teamday, download the brochure, and register yourself and several from your church to attend. The cost is $30 before February 15, and $40 after February 15 and before March 1st. We hope to see you there!PO Box 678 , Perry, MI 48872
email: email@example.com or 517-675-7442 (evenings or leave a message please)
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-675-7442 (evenings or leave a message please)
ITEMS NEEDED FOR THE HOMELESS BAGS (to February 12):
- Socks, 2) combs, 3) hand sanitizer, 4) toothbrush, 5) toothpaste, 6) dental floss,
7)Kleenex, 8) Band-aids, 9) crackers (or other non-perishable food items), 10) $5-10 gift cards at fast food restaurants, 11) bottle of water, 12) mints, 13) words of encouragement, 14) feminine hygiene products (for female bags only), 15) black permanent marker
Ladies, and men, if you have any canvas tote bags or bigger purses, please bring these to the church as we would like to put the items for the homeless in a nice bag/purse if possible. Look deep into those closets!
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!
Now to Feb. 12 Collection of Items for the Homeless
Feb. 12 Church Potluck
Feb. 26 Alabaster Offering taken