News & Views Jan 21

Galatians 2:20
"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
So the life I live in this earthly body I live faith in the Son of God who loved and gave himself for me."

Online - premieres 9:00 a.m. on Facebook
Outdoors - 10:00 a.m. on the church patio
Rev. Ed Ezaki
Colossians Series: "Deceptive Philosophies"
Read ahead: Colossians 2:16-23


It seems like a good time to answer some "Frequently Asked Questions" again, especially as the New Year has begun and COVID is still keeping many of us from gathering. And I might add, I've gotten the most responses when I use this blog for FAQs!

Why are we still meeting outside for worship when some churches are meeting indoors?
NLC continues to meet outdoors in compliance with public health guidelines for our county and state to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Thankfully the weather has been warm lately, though we continue to pray for rain in the valley and snow in the mountains. Space heaters have been a blessing, too!  
When will we begin meeting indoors? It's not clear, yet, when public health guidelines will be relaxed to allow indoor meetings. When they do, we're ready!
What will indoor services be like? The gym in the Family Center has been modified for worship with a low 12x24 foot stage on the east side, a new projector and screen, a new sound board and lighting, and LED uplights to create a worshipful atmosphere. A curtained backdrop is soon to be in place. The services won't feel as formal as the Worship Center used to feel, but they will be inspiring and encouraging experiences of worship and teaching, nonetheless.
Will online services continue when we start meeting indoors? Yes. In fact, the new set-up in the gym is designed and ready for live-streaming with a new pan/tilt/zoom camera and link-ups for broadcasting the worship service as it's happening. Online viewers will be able to watch the service live from anywhere in the world, or view it "on-demand" whenever it's convenient.
Has NLC had any COVID deaths or exposure incidents? Our NLC family has close ties to several people who have died from COVID. And though many of us have either been sick or tested positive with COVID, no NLC members have died from it during the pandemic. There has only been one case of exposure on campus, and thankfully no one who was exposed tested positive.
What happens when there is exposure at church? The Business Administrator (Elaine) and the Trustees were informed of the incident, and those who were exposed were notified. Staff who were exposed either worked from home or were granted sick leave for a 10-day period. Affected areas and surfaces were cleaned. In-person worship was canceled for one Sunday only because key staff and volunteers who provide the service were affected.
I heard that a second round of Paycheck Protection Program "PPP" funds have been released. Will our church benefit from this program again? No. This second round of PPP funds from the government require a business to have at least one financial quarter in 2020 (or the whole year) of at least a 25% decrease in revenue compared to 2019. NLC experienced a total decrease of 5% in giving last year, with our lowest quarter seeing a 6.5% decrease. We give thanks for the generosity of church members and God's grace in providing for our NLC families and church.
What's happening with our church vision? Thanks for asking! We continue to implement our vision with an eye toward 2024, shifting our church more strongly and cohesively toward transformational community ministries. The last few months we have been working on two of the five defining objectives: (1) redesigning facilities to symbolize and support the vision, and (2) aligning staff, teams, budgets, and operations to support the vision.  I will say more about that next week.
How is NLC reaching out to our community recently?  Our Kitchen Team and volunteers are preparing and distributing "Grab & Go Meals" on the last Sunday of every month. We have learned that many families in Dinuba struggle with enough money for groceries at the end of each month. We have stepped up our partnership with Open Gate Ministries across the street by starting the NLC Home Resource Center. Half a dozen families have already been helped in their transition from the shelter to new housing arrangements. The Life Skills Class has opened to the community to provide personal, family, and spiritual support. Faith & Finances continues to provide important skills for families with financial challenges. Cece is providing leadership in pulling these ministries together so families in our community can access them more easily and benefit from a clear and smooth pathway for discipleship, health, and growth.
Any progress on coffee? Don't lose hope! 

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The Wednesday Prayer Team continues to meet, just separately in homes instead of gathered on the church campus. Here are the prayer items for this week:
  1.Give worship, praise, and thanksgiving to God. "Give thanks in all circumstances."
  2.For President Joe Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris, national, state and local leaders.
  3.For residents at Palm Village and Sierra View and others that who are isolated.
  4. For Mary Kay and Gary Elrich, as they trust the Lord for his grace, healing, and strength.
  5.For Mary Salazar, home from the hospital from a recent blood infection.
  6.For those that have lost loved ones.
  7. For our missionaries: Otto & Marjorie Ekk (Portugal), who are currently here with Agatha;
Ruddy & Cristina Ancheta (SF); Bruce & Laurel Smith (YFC);  John and Geri (Multiply).
  8.For neighbors and those that are in your circle that need the Lord.
  9.For God’s mercy and healing concerning COVID-19; health care workers and their families.
10.For Open Gate Ministries, and families being helped by the NLC Home Resource Center.
11.For those in our congregation dealing with health issues: JR Southard, Jean Wohlgemuth,
Agatha Enns, Bob Heinrichs, Marilyn Chappell, Julia Choy.  Also for all of the caregivers.
12.For the Elders, Trustees and staff as they seek the Lord’s direction and give leadership in
13.Pray as the Holy Spirit directs.

Stewardship Report

Received Last Week (1/17/21): ............ $7,983.51
Received this year to date:............... $196,832.45
Budget Goal: ...................................... $521,591.00
Budget to Date: ................................. $196,826.79
Needed Weekly to Meet Budget: ........ $9,841.34
Want to try your first gift online? Just use this online link...
*COVID-19 precautions: For on-campus activities and for your safety and others' please 
maintain 6' of distance and wear a face covering when not seated as households apart from others. 
Indoor gatherings are not permitted at this time.

Questions? Call 559-591-1176 or
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Mark Isaac

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