News & Views February 2 2022

February 2, 2022
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him,
rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as  you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7
Life Lesson Classes for Adults
8:30 - PSALM 119 video series with Matt Chandler - Ron & Judy Brown leading - Room 111
8:30 - PARA COMENZAR EL 13 DE FEBRERO - Clase de Estudio Bíblico en Español
Docente: Ruth Serrato - Room 113
8:45 - WELCOME Class: James - Leroy Bumbaca & Laurie Isaac teaching - Rooms 114-115
Connecting Point
9:30 A.M. - Dining Room
Worship and Communion
10:00 A.M. -  Family Center Gym/Online - Pastor Mark preaching
Step it Up! - Read ahead--Luke 9:22-36
NLC Kids
10:00 A.M. - Rooms 101,103

New Member Lunch
11:15 A.M. - Dining Room

Next Sunday, February 13

On "Souperbowl" Sunday, Feb. 13, we will join with thousands of other organizations across the country for a special offering.  In the past 19 years, we have given a total of $15,300 to the local Open Gate Ministries to help feed people who may not even have a can of soup to eat.  
Please place a dollar (or more!) in the soup pot that Sunday, or drop off a donation at the church office.  Checks may be written to either NLC (marked "Souperbowl") or to Open Gate, with 100% of the money given to Open Gate.

NOTE: Valentine's Dinner has been cancelled. Stay tuned for a couple's date night soon!

Sunday, February 20

We're takin' it to the streets on Sunday, February 20! 
We'll meet in the gym at 10 a.m. as usual, but will receive a brief training on prayerwalking, sing, and then head out in 2s, 3s, or families to assigned streets to pray over Dinuba's households.
At 11 a.m. or whenever you're done praying along your street, we'll meet back in the Dining Room for pizza and a chance to share our experiences with each other.
What a great way to Step it Up!

Sundays are Shaping Up!

"People decide within 7 seconds of pulling into a church parking lot whether it's a friendly church they might want to attend or not." 

That's what Cece heard from the team at Visalia First Assembly when she asked for their input about designing a Sunday morning experience that's truly welcoming for newcomers. We had been thinking of ways to make New Life Community a more welcoming church, but that told us we had to think and act much more creatively!

Now when you drive up to NLC on Sunday mornings you'll see happy signs at the entrances that welcome people arriving and bless them as they leave. The pop-up tent and welcome table are set up outside the Family Center doors to highlight the space and draw people to the entrance where greeters are smiling and ready with a "welcome" and a gift. Hot coffee and warm handshakes at Connecting Point provide the space we can all use to meet new people and build relationships. A welcome sign in Spanish hangs over a table where people can make connections and pick up headsets to hear the morning service translated into Spanish. Other new signs point out the restrooms more clearly as well as directions to NLC Kids and Life Lesson classes.

All of these are attempts to make NLC more welcoming and accessible to people in our community. We want to offer the Good News we celebrate in Jesus with wide open arms! We want people's experience of Sundays at NLC to be welcoming and joyful, a place to connect with others in a community of new life in Jesus.

There are a lot of moving parts to Sunday mornings: 
  • Volunteers arrive early to open doors, turn on the lights and the coffee machine, and make sure the temperature is comfortable. 
  • Musicians and sound/media volunteers arrive by 8:00 to set up, rehearse, and make sure the livestream is ready for broadcasting. 
  • Life Lesson classes start at 8:30 or 8:45
  • Connecting Point team is setting up by 9:00 along with greeters warming their hands at the doors. 
  • NLC Kids sets up and opens the doors to welcome children before 9:30
  • The translation team arrives and sets up their equipment in the Dining Room. 
  • Afterward there's a team to take a headcount and gather the offering into the safe.

It's all working, but we are continually working to make it more welcoming, smooth, inviting and inspirational for those who come. To pull this all together Cece has agreed to direct and coordinate Sunday morning operations as part of her role as Community Strategies Director. She's learning these very things in her master's program in Community Leadership and Transformation, and the Elders and I see it as a tremendous privilege to have her insights and leadership at NLC as we continue to transform ourselves for the sake of the Gospel in Dinuba.

We hope Sunday mornings at NLC will be a place of life transformation as people learn to know God's Word, worship God, gain new insights and skills for living their faith through their finances, for instance, and form lasting bonds with new brothers and sisters in Christ. Look for new Sunday morning LIfe Lesson classes coming soon, including classes for middle and high schoolers.  We're preparing for an NLC Ministry Fair in March where you can learn about all of our ministries and how to get involved. Be ready to volunteer for new roles including ushers, security, care and prayer teams, and youth mentors. You are needed.
  • ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Overcomers is hosting a weekend workshop this weekend (Friday-Saturday, Feb. 4-5). Pray for the leaders (Bruce Smith and Carol Enns), their assistants and participants.
  • Palm Village Retirement Communities has requested prayer from our church (we are an owner church). They are dealing with the effects of COVID-19 and though they rejoice that they have not lost even one person to COVID-19 during these last two years, morale is low with staff shortages and ongoing uncertainty. You can read their request letter here.
  • NLC continues to have new COVID-19 cases. Pray with thanksgiving as many who have had it are recovering well and back to work and worship.
  • Pray for those currently in skilled nursing: Olga Brandt, Chris Holmen (on hospice), Marilyn Chappell, Annie Enns (has pneumonia), and Vicky Barkman. Barbara Friesen has recovered enough to return to her apartment in Assisted Living!
  • Peggy Zimmerman fell last week and is recovering at CRC from multiple hip and wrist fractures. Glen Zimmerman is home doing better after his cyber knife procedure and will be restarting chemo. Pray for their grown children, Jeff and Kelsey, as they support their folks.
  • Pray for others dealing with cancer treatment including Kelly Friesen's sister-in-law Dana Friesen, Galen Wiest (may be in remission!), Brian Smith. Ron Brown's sister Bonnie has received some good news and may avoid amputation. Pray for wisdom, peace, and healing.
  • Joyce Penner fell and is recovering at home. Pray she can heal and reopen her daycare.
  • Remember Chinoh Aquino in USAF training in Texas, and wife Jessica and the family here. 
  • Tom Regier is preparing for a trip to Uganda to repair a badly damaged plane for Missionary Aviation Fellowship. Pray the many details come together and that God provides all that is needed to accomplish this daunting challenge.
  • Our Home Resource Center has helped 8 families with needed furniture over since the first of the year. Praise the Lord for resources to share and opportunities to serve those in need!
  • Our sister church, Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church, announced the resignation of Pastor Malcolm Light this week. Pray for God's wisdom, peace, and unity as both the church and the Light family seek God's direction forward. 
  • Pray for peace in Europe and for Mennonite Brethren churches and missionaries in the Ukraine.

Our Giving

Received Last Week (1/30):.…..... $3,728
Received this year to date: .….$190,572
Budget to Date: …………...….....$187,426
Budget Goal: …………..…...........$443,008
Needed Weekly: ……….…..….....…$8,519


Per CA Department of Health mandate, "masks are to be worn in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccination status" through February 15, 2022. Thank you.

Mark Isaac

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