We had another wonderful day in the Lord, Sunday! We continue to receive visits from old and new friends! This week we were excited to see David McClain join us for worship! After 5 years in Detroit working and visiting family, David is back in Grand Rapids! Welcome home! We’re so glad you’re back! It was also a joy to have Rev. Christopher with us this week! Though he will be transferring his membership to the Sparta Church because they’re closer, have a transportation ministry, and can drop him off at the front door, he is going to bless us once more this Sunday by sharing God’s Word as Janie and I vacation this week to Mexico. We’ll surely miss him!
On a separate note, make sure you mark May 21before and after Sunday school for our church elections. If you are a member in good standing, you need to vote for your church leadership and delegates to the District Assemblies and Conventions. Not a member? Let’s change that by meeting a few times, discussing the Church of the Nazarene and then welcoming you home!
God’s message to us this week came from John 10:1-21 and titled, “Listen to the Shepherd.” How long have you been alive? No, not how many years you’ve been a breathing member of the human race, but how long have you truly been alive? If the truth be known, most people die without ever having lived. They eat and sleep; work and play; laugh and cry, and reproduce, but play it safe and tiptoe through life with no other aspiration than to get all the pleasure they can out of life and arrive at death safely. But, is that really living?
In our text, Jesus continues to reveal who He really is as opposed to the false leadership of the Pharisees. Though the Pharisees assumed they were spiritual guides for all of the people, Jesus declared in chapter 9, they were not only blind to the man born blind, but were blind to God Himself.
In chapter 10, Jesus further illustrates true vs. false shepherds using a common societal occurrence: a shepherd, sheep, a sheep pen, thieves, wolves, and hired men. While the sheep were kept safe at night after passing through a guarded gate into the low-walled sheep pen into a watchman’s care, they were not without threat or danger. While a good shepherd would protect the sheep at any cost to himself (including his life), hired man would scatter at the first time of trouble.
From this common 1st century image Jesus then declares, He is not only the Good Shepherd who will provide protection, security, and defense though it cost Him His life, but He is also the gate though which His followers (sheep) will find eternal life in heaven (sheep pen). But, then He takes it further! Not only is Jesus the way to eternal life in heaven at the end of our earthly life, but unlike false leaders, He wants to provide an abundant life for us here and now!
[Jesus declares] “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:10-11). What about you? Have you said yes to Jesus? Are you living a life of abundance and fullness or something else? Being saved is vital. But it’s not the end; it’s just the beginning. There’s so much more Jesus wants to do to fulfill you, complete you, satisfy you, and give you the joyful and abundant life you’ve always wanted! May today be the day you stop trying to live a double life and yield your life completely to Jesus!
Blessings, Pastor Dan
NEWS AND EVENTS
PASTOR DAN’S PLANS – MAY 8-14
Pastor Dan and Janie have plans to travel to Mexico (a working trip for Janie and a week of vacation for pastor) May 8-14. If you have something that can’t wait, please contact Gerry Dawson (our Church Board Secretary). It will be a blessing having Rev. Christian Christopher fill our pulpit again on May 14.
CHURCH ELECTIONS – Sunday, May 21
Attention members! Church elections will take place Sunday, May 21st. Members are asked to make a special effort to be present and vote to elect your representatives for this next church year (The next church year runs from June 01, 2017 – May 31, 2018). Your voice is important, so make sure to vote Sunday morning! Larry Branagan will be handing out ballots before and after Sunday school.
ANNUAL DIAPER DRIVE BEGINS AGAIN! KEEP THEM COVERED!
Get your coupons for diapers and head to the stores! We are collecting this precious gift for mothers who have little ones and have only a little money. We donate them to Northeast Community Center. Let’s see if we can beat last year’s donation! Diapers collected so far – 352 GOAL = 1800
Join us at the church for a day of cleaning up things and making things look a bit better around the church. This will be from 9 AM to noon.
INTERESTED IN CHURCH MEMBERSHIP?
A series of membership classes will be starting in June. If you are interested in learning more about the Church of the Nazarene, or becoming a member of our church, please let Pastor Dan know by contacting him at: 616-204-1153 or h
WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE STUDY is moving to the church
Beginning May 3rd, we will be meeting at the church for Bible Study and fellowship. We hope to see you there!.
TIME TO THINK ABOUT SUMMER CAMP @ INDIAN LAKE
Indian Lake Nazarene Camp has a wonderful summer camp for students of all ages. At camp kids learn to feel good about themselves, gain self-confidence, self-esteem, learn leadership skills, make friends, and learn about God’s love for them! You can learn more by going to this link: http://www.nazcamp.org/summer-camp
Discovery Camp Completed K – 2nd grade Jul. 05-07
Adventure Camp Completed 2nd – 4th grade Jul. 24-28
Voyager Camp Completed 4th – 6th grade Jul. 31-Aug. 04
Mid. School Camp Completed 6th – 8th grade Jul. 10-14
High School Camp Completed 9th – 12th grade Jun. 26-30
Note: All camps are $ 285 (except for Discovery Camp which is $ 135)
NEXT WOMEN’S RENDEZVOUS is May 20 @ 10:30 AM
We will be meeting at the church for this time of fellowship and fun. We will be discussing our breakfast menu for the Renucci House for August. Call or text Cherry for any questions @ 616-916-7595.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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!
May Annual Diaper Drive – Keep them Covered!
May 21 Church Elections
May 28 A Moment in Time at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island
June 18 -23 General Assembly 2017 Work & Witness Project
June 26 Indian Lake Camps begin