News & Views Oct 13

"Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him for God is our refuge."
Psalm 62:8

Adult "Welcome" Class (Colossians) - 8:45 A.M. - Rooms 114-115
Connecting Point - 9:30 A.M. - Dining Room
Worship  - 10:00 A.M. -  Family Center Gym and Online
Pastor Mark: ROAD TO RECOVERY, Part 3 - Commit My Life to Christ
Read ahead - Matthew 5:5, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Revelation 3:20
NLC Kids  - 10:00 A.M. - Rooms 101,103

The Week Ahead

Monday, 18th
8:00 a.m. YFC Annual Golf Tournament - Kings River Country Club (reservations required)
Tuesday, 19th
6-7 a.m.   Men's Bible Study group - Louie Giglio's "Acts of the Apostles" - Dining Room
9:00 a.m. LIFT Women's Bible Study - "Seamless" - Room 114-115
Wednesday, 20th
6:30 p.m. NLC Prayer Gathering - all are welcome - Dining Room
6:30 p.m. Griefshare - High School Room
Thursday, 21st
4:30 p.m. Dinuba Community Task Force - Dining Room
Saturday, 23rd
5:00 p.m. Operation Christmas Child packing party - Dinuba Christian Church, 355 E Saginaw
Sunday, 24th
Pastor Mark continues the series: "Road to Recovery" as a launch to Celebrate Recovery at NLC

How to Pray for FPU

Our church's local Christian college, Fresno Pacific University (FPU), was featured on Channel 30 recently regarding a petition for an LGBTQ+ student Pride Club. NLC "owns" FPU as part of the Pacific District Conference of MB Churches, which controls 60% of the university's board. Fresno Pacific University doesn't resist that significant interest, but is glad to have the backing of a church denomination. That's because FPU is a religious organization as much as it is an educational institution. It is "Founded on Christ" and seeks to honor the Lord in its important work. I came to NLC from the administration of FPU and want to give some perspective on this current matter so we can be in prayer for our school.

The petition was started by an FPU student who used the platform to petition the FPU board of directors to permit the formation of a club for gay and lesbian students and their allies. It reads: "On October 23rd, the Fresno Pacific University Board of Trustees will be meeting to decide if it will approve the creation of a student-led LGBTQ+ Pride Club. For the first time in at least a decade, the Board has intervened in the creation of a student club. Our club's mission is to create a safe, inclusive, and discriminatory free environment for LGBTQ+ and allied individuals on and off-campus through monthly meetings, community service, and educational symposiums."

I ran down the list of over 700 signers and found some people I know, including pastors. People will see this matter from differing sides. Yes, even Christian people. Fresno Pacific University has about 4,000 students across its 5 campuses (Merced, North Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield, and the main campus in SE Fresno); about 10% of whom live in dorms on-campus. Students are not required to be Christians to take courses or graduate from the university. So, as across the valley, the FPU student body is made up of a wide diversity of people. There are about 20 clubs with all kinds of interests at FPU, from anime to mental health to students ending exploitation. On one hand a pride club would just be another place for students with that interest or orientation to gather and talk over challenges, choices, and faith.

On the other hand the university has sought and obtained religious exemptions from the law that permit it to discriminate in hiring and other practices in order to live by and promote its Christian faith. FPU abides by the same Confession of Faith that we do at New Life Community, and so it only hires faculty and staff who agree with and abide by that Christian statement of faith. The board will make its decision using the Confession of Faith and the Bible as its guide, intending to use every aspect of the school, including student clubs, to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Fresno Pacific University is also part of the 180-school Council of  Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), a national organization of Christ-centered institutions that includes our other MB college, Tabor College, in Kansas. The CCCU is working to defend the right of Christian universities to hire and practice according to their religious beliefs. A lawsuit currently in the courts seeks to revoke religious exemptions that FPU and other Christian colleges have. The claim is that Christian colleges and universities ultimately create an environment where LGBTQ+ students are bullied or abused. That would be a tragedy if it were the case, since Christians are called to love others as we have been loved--yes, while we were sinners.

So how do we love others with whom we disagree or are actively seeking to restrict our freedom to express our faith? Do we fight? What would we win if we did? If we only won suits in the courts and not souls for Christ, we would have won hollow victories with no eternal value. And yet FPU is a valuable tool worth defending for the training of Christian workers and leaders. The administration and members of the board at FPU need our prayers for God's wisdom in this matter and in many more. Let's focus our energies there and not add the fuel of our fears to the fire. Let's trust the Lord to lead us all in truth and love for others, in the same way Jesus came for us.
  • Pray for our church to be clear and bold in our witness for Jesus. Pray that God opens doors for the message of the Gospel and that we will move through those doors.
  • Thank the Lord for the opportunity to minister to potentially hundreds of people through our Family Fun Night coming October 31st. Pray we'll have enough food and candy to serve, but especially that God will open our hearts to those who come. Pray for Martha Sawatzky as she presents the Gospel that night using pumpkins.
  • Continue to lift people with ongoing health issues before the Lord: Glen Zimmerman, JR Southard, Mike Naylor, Marilyn Chappell, Bob Heinrichs, Brian Smith, and Galen Wiest and Travis Jost with Multiply. We rejoice at answered prayer, healing, and recovery for others as well.
  • Remember firefighters, health care workers, and other public servants who put their lives at risk to help others.
  • Pray for wisdom for members of the board at Fresno Pacific University, who will be deciding whether to permit an LGBTQ+ Pride Club for students. Pray for the continuing freedom to provide Christ-focused education in our state and nation.
  • Give thanks for the men who cheerfully and faithfully arrive early and stay late to open and close the church buildings on Sunday mornings: Steve Bryan, Dennis Enns, Greg Jantzen, Leo Olea, Chris Reimche, and Don Warkentin.
  • Ask God what he wants to give through you toward our church's missionaries and their work. We will be gathering an offering on November 21st to cover their entire year's support.

Our Giving

Received Last Week (10/10):…..$1,261
Received this year to date…… $45,868
Budget to Date: ………….....….. $51,116
Budget Goal: …………..….........$443,008
Needed Weekly: ……….….....……$8,633
Click the box below to participate in NLC's goal toward Operation Christmas Child.

Mark Isaac


Chuck Boldwyn - October 22nd, 2021 at 3:49pm

Mark... Thank you for helping us stay informed about current issues facing our university. Your article was well written. I appreciate you nonprovocative tone; encouraging us to pray for those who serve in leadership as they wrestle with controversial and consequential issues... Blessings. Chuck

Mark Isaac - October 28th, 2021 at 8:56am

Thank you, Chuck. I'll provide an update in the Oct 28 newsletter about their decision.