News & Views June 3

"For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [Jesus],
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
Colossians 1:19-20

Connecting Point - 9:30 A.M. - Dining Hall
Worship  - 10:00 A.M. -  Family Center Gym and Online
Pastor Mark preaching - Put on Another Plate!
NLC Kids - 10:00 A.M. - Rooms 101,103

It's Time to Engage!

There's a scene in the Disney/Pixar movie, The Incredibles, when the Parr family tries to have a pleasant dinner around the table. The dad, Bob (Mr. Incredible), is preoccupied with his own concerns when the kids start picking on each other. Mom, Helen (aka Elastigirl), tries to keep things from getting out of hand, but has her hands full with son Dash racing around the table at lightning speed and daughter Violet using force fields to knock him off his feet. Failing to calm things down on her own, she calls out to her husband, "Bob, it's time to engage!"
Most parents have had their kids home with them all year and can probably relate. And now, just barely after getting them back into school, school's out and the kids are back home! Summer is upon us. For families with kids and grandkids, it's time to engage!
Are you ready to engage people this summer? Are you prepared to engage kids? I hope so!  The spread of COVID-19 appears to be diminishing in our state and county. We're all anticipating a rollback of mandates soon. People are itching to get out and get together again. Families with kids are especially feeling the urge to get out and participate in community activities again. It's time to engage!
One thing's for sure in Dinuba, our community is FULL of kids to connect with! Over a third of Dinuba is under 18 years old. And nearly 10% of Dinuba is under 5 years old. That's more than 150% of the national average! And as you might expect, the number of people per household in Dinuba (3.86) is also 150% of the national average. Conversely, the number of people 65 and over in Dinuba (8.5%) is half that of the rest of the country (over 16%). It may be hard to believe, but there are more preschool children in Dinuba than retired people! We live in a very young community. It's time to engage!
It's possible that many of us are feeling like Bob Parr, consumed with our own concerns and just wanting time to ourselves. We didn't like the restrictions of health mandates very much, but we've gotten used to being apart from others and disengaged from their daily lives. Watching church worship services on TV was strange at first, but now it's become familiar and comfortable for many. And you can always change the channel or just click past the songs or the slow parts of the sermon if you want to. We're not as tolerant or as willing to accommodate others as we might have been before. We're not as willing to engage, volunteer, or connect. But friends, those days are over. It's time to engage!
There are many opportunities this summer to simply step out of your home and show up. You'll find yourself invigorated again by being with other people.
There are also many opportunities this summer for you to step up and serve others. And if you're willing, there are also opportunities to give leadership.

Here's a rundown of opportunities to engage starting this week:
  • Summer Night Lights at Dinuba's Entertainment Plaza, across from Orbit Lanes on L and Ventura Streets starts June 4, 6-10 p.m. There will be live entertainment, a farmer's market, games for the kids, and booths from a variety of businesses and local organizations. In 2019, New Life Community had a booth where we met people from our community, prayed with them, played with their children, and blessed them with a gift card drawing.  NLC is planning to host a booth on June 11, 25, and July 9 and 16 this summer. Come to the plaza. Let us know if you're willing to serve in the booth.
  • June 10, NLC is hosting Dinuba's Community Task Force in our Dining Hall. People from civic, government, and faith-based organizations will be joining forces. This is an opportunity for leadership or to volunteer toward initiatives that may be forming. 
  • Friday night, June 18, NLC is hosting its own NLC Family Movie Night in our Family Center gym. We'll have some fun activities, snacks, and popcorn and a movie.  Bring your family, invite your neighbors. Let us know if you'd like to set up, clean-up, or serve snacks.
  • Life Groups are gathering again! There are currently 3 groups meeting including two for adults and one for young adults (18-25). We'd like to start more groups, so let us know if you'd like to participate or open your home to a new group and we'll get you connected. The young adult life group, Lifeline, is camping out the weekend of June 13.
  • Vacation Bible School at NLC is being planned for July 19-23. We plan to host this in person at the church and will need lots of adults and teens to connect with the kids, help with things from crafts to snacks, and be ready to pray with them as they put their faith in Jesus.
  • Take advantage of regular gatherings and small group Bible studies like the Tuesday morning men's Bible Study, the women's LIFT Bible study every third Tuesday through the summer, Sunday morning Life Lesson groups meeting before and after the service, Connecting Point coffee and snacks at 9:30 on Sunday mornings, Sunday morning worship services, and Wednesday evening prayer gatherings. 
  • Jump into outreach ministries like Grab & Go meals in the kitchen on June 27 and July 25, Pray & Go on any night of the month you choose, or volunteer to assist with community groups like Faith & Finances, Griefshare, and Life Skills. NLC's Home Resource Center could also use people able to help move families from Open Gate into new housing.
  • We are looking to grow teams to work with middle schoolers on Sunday mornings and with high school youth. 
  • Watch for other special events to join in, invite others along, or volunteer to serve. 

God has given each of his children spiritual gifts to be used in the body of Christ to build it up and to make it fruitful and effective in reaching others with the Good News. Summer is upon us. The fields are ripe with harvest. There are literally thousands of children, youth, and adults to reach within our own community, with millions upon millions to be praying for around the world. Now is not the time to hold back. It's time to engage!
  • NLC Kids taught 17 children from preschool to 6th grade last Sunday morning. Thank God for Jessica Aquino's leadership and for those who willingly serve the children! Pray for a team to develop to minister to middle school and high schoolers.
  • Over 224 homes have been prayed over in Dinuba by NLC Pray & Go teams! We've had a response and two visits during this first month. Here's the kind of prayer we've been praying: "Heavenly Father, thank you for the opportunity to pray for [street address]. You love everyone who lives here. I know you desire a relationship with them. I pray Your blessings on this home. Send the Holy Spirit to guide them and allow them to feel Your presence. I ask for an opportunity to share Jesus with the people who live here. Bring His good news to them. Please protect those who live here and draw them closer to yourself. May Your will be done at [street address]. May this home come to know Your grace, truth, and love. Amen."
  • About 220 meals were served last Sunday after church by the NLC Grab & Go team. Those who came were very open to prayer as well. Pray that the small copy of Mark's gospel and plan of salvation distributed to each recipient will be a seed of faith that grows.
  • Join Glen Zimmerman's family in praying he gains strength so he can return home from the hospital, that he will recover fully from his cancer treatments, and that God heals him.
  • Hold others up who are also dealing with health issues, or recovering from surgery: Harmony Parker , JR Southard, Marilyn Chappell, Bob Heinrichs, Brian Smith (Bruce's brother) and Norma Froese. Mike Naylor awaits shoulder surgery.
  • Lift up the NLC community groups and their leaders: ACE Overcomers (Carol Enns, Brian Willems, and Bruce Smith), Faith & Finances (Ron & Norma Froese), Griefshare (Martha Sawatzky and John Regier), and Life Skills (Cece Olea).
  • The NLC Home Resource Center has helped another man and his two children recently. Rejoice with Musa's family as they have a roof over their heads for the first time in 12 years!
  • This Sunday we will celebrate Communion. Ask the Lord to reveal to you any relationships that need his reconciliation. Pray for courage and compassion to reach out and apologize or forgive. Also ask the Lord for guidance in making a gift to the Benevolence Fund, which helps people with needs within our congregation.

Our Giving

Received Last Week (5/30):.......$7,103
Received this year to date: ..$352,157
Budget to Date: ………..…......$391,193
Budget Goal: ……….. …….......$521,591
Needed Weekly: ……..…....……$13,033
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 most mandates 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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