What a wonderful day we had in the Lord this week! “He has risen! He has risen, indeed!” We declared this truth to each other one on one, we studied this truth in Sunday school! We heard this truth in song through the wonderful cantata, the children celebrated this truth in an Easter Egg hunt. It was indeed a Happy Easter as we celebrated (as Isaiah V. said it) Resurrection Day! What a joy to see so many new and old faces come together to Celebrate Jesus, the Risen King!
What a joy to hear the gospel of the Risen Christ presented in song and narration in the “This We Believe” Cantata this week! I continue to marvel at how God continues to do big things in a little church like ours! Big thanks to Beverly S. for leading this huge undertaking and thanks to Beverly S. and Deb. X. for singing solos and for all of our cantata members who led us straight into the heart of God. Easter 2017 was a sacred reminder of God’s goodness in Christ! Amen!
God did share a brief devotional with us this week from the book of John 20:1-18 titled, “Life Behind the Grave.” In v. 1 Mary Magdalene comes to the grave with other women (Mark 16:1) to properly anoint Christ with spices when she discovers the stone had been removed from His grave. Shocked, she runs to tell Peter and John, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” (John 20:2). John and Peter make a mad dash to the grave and eventually leave… Apparently, so do the other women leaving Mary alone.
Who is this Mary? Tradition tells us she was a former prostitute and the one who washed Jesus feet with her tears and hair. While scholars debate these points, Scripture tells us Jesus had cast 7 demons from Mary Magdalene in Luke 8:2 and she was among the 4 women who remained at the cross until Jesus died (John 19:25). But, in Jn. c. 20 she remains lingering at the tomb heart-broken with swollen eyes and tear-stained cheeks. Someone approaches her In her pain, gloom, and brokenness and asks:
“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher) (John 20:15-16).
In that moment everything changes. The gloom and darkness in her heart and mind burst into brilliant light. Jesus is alive! Jesus is alive! Mary falls to her knees and worships Him! The one the world had once written off as too sinful was the first to greet the resurrected Jesus on that first Easter morning…. This is the most beautiful love story ever written!
How about you? Have you thought you’re too unworthy to greet Jesus on Easter? For weeks we’ve examined how much God loved the world (John 3:16) including the rich and powerful, the 5 time divorced outcast, to the least, the last, and the lost! Remember, Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but to save the world (John 3:17). In the resurrection of Jesus, we discover the curse of sin is broken and we can have victory in Jesus! It is still good news! Let Jesus love you right where you are! There is life beyond the grave! Hallelujah!
Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
Join us in good food, buffet style, and fellowship at this monthly meeting. Meet at Hibachi off Alpine Avenue at 11:30 AM. See you there!! (Yum)
LADIES DAY AT ONU: April 22, $30.00, $10.00 for a box lunch. Join other women for a
day of learning, laughter, music and fellowship! For tickets, call 855-98-SHINE or visit iTickets.com. (Box lunches are only available to order through March 31.) Featured will be Missy Robertson from Duck Dynasty and Grayson Reed.
NEXT WOMEN’S RENDEZVOUS is April 29 @ 10:30 AM
We will be meeting at Morse’s home for this time of fellowship and fun. Cherry will be making maps to give out so you can find your way.
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?
SOUND BOOTH PERSON NEEDED:
The church is looking for someone who is interested in being a sound booth technician. You will need to be able to attend music practices Sunday morning at 9 AM. Let Janie know if you are interested at 616-204-2499 or email@example.com.
If you are interested in having a Friday night full of laughter, Chonda Pierce, with special guest, Karyn Williams, are at Grand Rapids First Church 5/5. Tickets can be purchased at ticket.com. If anyone is interested, call/text Cherry @ 616-916-7595.
The Michigan District Church of the Nazarene presents:
A MOMENT IN TIME
At the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island on May 28 – May 30, 2017
A Moment in Time is open to all ages of families and individuals. The cost is only $345 per person. Children ages 12-17 are $185 and children birth to age 11 are free.
· Two nights lodging at the historic Grand Hotel
· Two delectable five course dinners
· Two scrumptious breakfasts (choice of menu/breakfast buffet or continental)
· Adult round-trip ferry ride (ages 5-11 are $12)
· All baggage handling
The first non-refundable deposit of $50 is due by March 27th. The balance is due April 22nd. Please see the attached brochure for all of the details!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
April 22 Ladies Day @ ONU with Missy Robertson & Grayson Reed
May 5 Happily Laughter After Tour with Chonda Pierce at Grand Rapids
May 28 A Moment in Time at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island
June 18-23 General Assembly 2017 Work & Witness Project