News & views May 20

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 NLT

Connecting Point - 9:30 A.M. - Dining Hall

Grand re-opening continues
Worship  - 10:00 A.M. -  Family Center Gym and Online
Jordan Ringhofer preaching - Philemon: The Core of our Faith
NLC Kids - 10:00 A.M. - Rooms 101,103
Jordan Ringhofer is the District Minister of the Pacific District MB Conference of Churches.
NLC is one those churches. Through the "PDC" our church operates Fresno Pacific University and the seminary, plants churches, and trains the Next Generation of church leaders.
Jordan has been a pastor in Salem, Oregon and at Hope Kingsburg.
He and his wife Tristan live in Kingsburg with their two young boys.

A Growing Family

Front row, left to right: Josh "Chino" and Jessica Aquino (and two of their six children, Emmy & Eliza), Nori Naylor, Nayeli Mendez, Mathilda "Mati" Mendez and Armando Zamora, and Manuela "Nelly" Lopez.
Back row, left to right: Erica and Johnny Vasquez (and their youngest son, Cole), Mike Naylor, Kelly Friesen, Leroy Bumbaca, and Pastor Mark 
Laurie and I had the joy, along with Cece & Leo Olea and Chris & Nora Reimche, to share lunch last Sunday with a wonderful group of people who are becoming a part of the NLC family. We talked through the history of our church, its theology and our church's vision. We looked at the various ways we've been implementing that vision at New Life Community through our Outward Focus, Ministry Involvement, and Welcome Readiness Teams. And we took time to talk about the way our church has structured itself to accomplish God's mission (bylaws). From those bylaws we also reviews what it means to be a member of the church:
"Members demonstrate their love for Jesus Christ through loving and submitting to one another and supporting the Church community.  This is done by: (1) regularly attending services, (2) studying the Bible and hearing it taught by the Church, (3) praying for the Church and for the unity of one another and the leadership, (4) practicing the ministry of the Gospel, (5) serving in the Church, and (6) contributing financially as they have means."
It's a good reminder for all of us as we see the desire of newcomers to join us in the work God has called us to as a body. It's exciting to see their own hearts for Jesus, to hear their stories of transformation through Christ, and to observe their spiritual gifts and talents ready to be used for the glory of God.
Over the next weeks you'll be hearing from them and will have the opportunity to welcome them as new members. I encourage you, if you haven't already, to meet them when you come on Sunday, introduce yourself, and even invite them to lunch or to your home so you can learn to know them. You'll find Josh (who prefers to be called "Chino") on the worship team playing guitar and his wife Jessica leading NLC Kids. Erica is on stage Sundays leading worship, while Johnny leads the tech team.
You'll find Mike and Nori after worship over in the Prayer Corner, ready to pray with anyone who comes for prayer or healing. Nori is leading our Pray & Go ministry, and Mike is a regular at the Men's Bible study. Kelly serves as our on-call assistant business administrator and usually in the church office every other Monday. Leroy will soon be driving the bus for Palm Village  again, bringing residents for worship at NLC and our sister church in Reedley. Armando and Mati will be leading the Grab & Go Meal outreach on the 30th. I'm guessing Nayeli will be helping, too. She's a college student at Reedley College, and has one older sister and two younger sisters. Let Laurel Smith know you'd like to help out in the kitchen and get to know them while you work! 
And finally, you likely already know this if you've been coming to our in-person services, you will always find Nelly at the front doors greeting people to church. She's also a regular at the Wednesday Prayer Gatherings.
Cece and I will be offering NLC 101 classes at least once every quarter. It's just one more way to demonstrate a readiness to welcome people to faith in Christ and into his service as part of his body at NLC. 
  • Pray & Go has already covered Nichols and Bates streets with prayer. Four couples have walked and prayed so far with others signed up, including Lifeline, our young adult group! Pray that people will respond to this outreach and that we will see the power of the Gospel at work in their lives.
  • Pastor Mark's friend, Yesu, an MB pastor and teacher in India, writes that many pastors from various denominations have died from COVID-19 there, including young pastors. It is alarming, he says. Yesu and about 10 other pastors are away from their families right now, leading two weeks of evangelistic outreaches along with COVID-19 relief in villages in the Gadwal district south of Hyderabad. Pray for their safety and that people will come to Christ. If you'd like to help provide food and supplies for their outreach, please let Mark know.
  • People with health concerns need strength and endurance, hope and joy, comfort and healing: Glen Zimmerman, Harmony Parker , JR Southard, Marilyn Chappell, Bob Heinrichs, Norma Froese, Mike Naylor. Bruce Smith's brother Brian has started cancer treatment this week.
  • Joe De Luna is now on hospice. Pray for him, his wife Sandra, their family and the whole Unity Crew Familia. 
  • Praise the Lord for Sandy Sills' testimony of God's grace at work in Dinuba. Pray for a collaborative spirit as Dinuba's community task force begins to take shape.
  • Praise the Lord a new guitar has been purchased and gifted to NLC for worship ministry!
  • Otto & Marjorie Ekk are visiting in the US. They plan to retire in December and conduct several months of ministry in North America before settling permanently in Dinuba. Pray for the church in Portugal and for leadership as they take the reins.
  • Griefshare began Wednesday night. Pray for Martha Sawatzky, Debbie Collazo, and John Regier who are leading. Pray the group grows as word spreads into our community.
  • Pastor Mark and Laurie are visiting their daughter in Washington this weekend.
  • Pray for our opportunity to meet and pray with people from the community next Sunday during the Grab & Go Meal outreach.
Thank you for your responses to the request for songs that draw you to the Lord's presence.
Twelve people responded with about 50 songs. And what an amazing variety!
Four of the twelve included no song suggestions, but simply responded with words of gratitude and encouragement for the worship team as they lead us before God's throne in worship.
It's a good reminder to pray for our worship leader and team. They are doing spiritual battle when they open their mouths and play their instruments for the glory of God.
Erica has been listening and learning to our hearts of worship.
Here are the songs from these suggestions that have been included in our service so far:
Change My Heart, O God 
How Great Thou Art
It Is Well
You Are My King (We'll be singing it this coming Sunday)
Got a Grad?

Outreach next Sunday!

New Men's Bible Study

Join with other men on Tuesday mornings, 6-7 a.m. for coffee, donuts, and some authentic conversation about living our faith in Jesus. We meet in the Dining Room. Ken Sawatzky leads.
The Power of Knowing God begins Tuesday, May 25th
Dr. Tony Evans believes seeking to know God is life’s greatest purpose.
In this practical, six-session video series, he shares strategies and skills for
how you can live victoriously as a child of God.
Your connection with God can be so much more than going to church, reading the Bible, and attending study groups. Using in-depth scriptural studies alongside stories from his own life,
Dr. Evans will equip you with the tools you need for pursuing an authentic and
life-transforming relationship with your Savior.

Our Giving

Received Last Week (5/16):.........$2,988
Received this year to date: ....$337,524
Budget to Date: ………..…........ $371,132
Budget Goal: ………..……...........$521,591
Needed Weekly: ……..……........…$12,271

Recent gift-in-kind donations have also been received, including speakers, cables, and other important audio equipment. In addition, a new Taylor electric acoustic guitar was purchased and donated to NLC's worship ministry. Praise the Lord!
Reminder about COVID-19 accommodations: Though capacity limits have been eliminated for indoor worship, mask mandates remain in effect in the state of California.  Many in our congregation have already received their vaccinations and we anticipate that the state will eliminate the mandate on June 15th. In the meantime, please continue to wear a mask for your safety and that of others.
Exceptions have been granted in some situations by request of NLC Trustees. 

Mark Isaac

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