NLC News December 22 2022

4:00 p.m. CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE with NLC Kids Christmas Pageant
  • Everyone will receive a Christmas "toot" (traditional treat bag with fruit, nuts, and candy).
9:30 a.m. CONNECTING POINT (Dining Room) and Connecting Point for Kids (Rm 101)
  • Hot cocoa bar and German peppernut cookies
10:00 a.m.  NLC FAMILY WORSHIP (Casual worship as families; No separate classes for kids)
  • Come ready to share a brief word of thanks for Jesus, who has been "God with us" in 2022

Church office closed

6:00 a.m. NO Men's Bible Study - New study begins January 3rd

6:30 p.m. Prayer Gathering - Room 113

5:30 p.m. CELEBRATE RECOVERY Dinner - Dining Room
6:30 p.m. CELEBRATE RECOVERY Worship / Teaching / Small Groups

9:30 a.m. CONNECTING POINT (Dining Room) and Connecting Point for Kids (Rm 101)
  • Mennonite "New Year's Cookies/Fritters" 
  • Jordan Ringhofer preaching, kicking off the new series "Time for a New Life" from Eph. 5:21
  • Stephanie Morales' first Sunday as Worship Leader
  • Communion
11:00 a.m. Place your order for pozole soup on January 8th to support our junior campers

Thank you to Golden Farms Express for locally-grown oranges, and to Grocery Outlet for apples donated for our Christmas "toots" (goodie bags) for our Christmas Eve service!

New Sermon Series starting January 1st

Come ready to order on January 1st

Click the photo to see more from the Waiting for Jesus kids' event

Look who came to help with Grab & Go!

I think his heart grew 3 sizes last Sunday...

Here's proof: he was seen giving blood at DHS on Monday!

Speaking of giving... Thank you!

Received Last Week (12/18).....$8,220
Received this year: ......……...$128,546
Budget to Date: …………....... $129,709
Budget Goal: ………................$421,553
Needed Weekly: ……..…......……$8,139
  • Al Suderman (just turned 95) and Alex Barnes (just turned 1) were both hospitalized this week as well as JR Southard. He is out as is Michelle Perez who was able to help serve at the Waiting for Jesus event this week, praise the Lord! 
  • Others have also been fighting illness and elevated levels of anxiety recently. Let's keep each other in prayer. Families carry great potential for joy and love, but can also be sources of hurt and stress for people. Pray as Malachi prophesied that the hearts of parents and children will turn toward each other for the praise of God's glory.
  • Continue to pray for families who have experienced loss recently: Inez Ruiz, the Sandovals, Carl Wohlgemuth, Ron Thiessen, Mike Naylor, and a young mother in our church.
  • Pray for several NLC families traveling this holiday season.
  • Continue to pray for the Chavez family in Peru as the national unrest is ongoing.
  • The Anchetas wrote from San Francisco about Ruddy's trip to the Philippines to prepare the retirement home for his mother, who will be moving back there after 38 years in the US.
  • Erick Parra received an answer to prayer. A municipal agent has taken care of the paperwork he is needing, and even asked for prayer. The agent said his parents are also Christians!
  • Thank the Lord for Henry Serrato's ministry as our Worship Ministries Leader for the last year and a half, and for his willingness to support Stephanie Morales as our new Worship Leader starting January 1st. Pray for a growing spirit of unity in our body as we worship and serve and love in the name of Jesus.
  • Give thanks to God for the many who give time volunteering at NLC: in the kitchen, in the office, in children's and youth ministry, greeting, running the media/tech, worshiping, bringing people to church, opening and closing the facility, leading Bible studies, caring for people in need, serving the homeless and those needing furnishings, praying with people, translating, directing ministries, and on and on!
Thank you for the many, many responses to my "Christmas in a New Light" messages. I pray about what I preach, and ask God for direction. Your responses help me see more of what God is doing through his Word in your life and in our life as a church family.

It seems the responses grew each week, from the DNA/Diversity sermon to the Disruptions sermon to the Displacement sermon where I asked you all to join me on a "field trip" to NLC's former Worship Center. I knew it would be an emotional experience for some of us, especially for those who have years and even decades of memories in that building. It was also not surprising to see that about half of our current church family has never set foot in that building.

We needed to be in the building together, and we need to seek God's direction for that building together. As I said to a few people over this week, we'll know what to do with that building when we as a church family share one common purpose for it. That's what I'm praying for. This is a time to pray and seek the Lord. It is not yet time to develop plans or rally people to one cause. It is time to listen to God and listen to each other.

Because we as a church prioritize the Bible as our primary guide for faith and life, let's live out Christ's attitude as described in Philippians 2, looking to the interests of others rather than ourselves. Let me suggest doing that in this way:
  • If you have years of connection to the building, ask God to give you a heart to listen to the experience of those who entered it for the first time on Sunday. What did they see? How did they feel? What do they imagine God might want to do with that building? Save your own thoughts and feelings for when you're asked.
  • If Sunday was your first time in the building, ask someone to tell you about their experience. How have they seen the building used in their experience? How have they seen God work there? How did they feel walking into it last Sunday? What do they imagine God doing in that building in the future? Wait for them to ask you about your own thoughts and feelings.

I've been praying about the building for 3 years now. I know it needs to symbolize and support the mission and vision God has given us for New Life Community. It's a tool for that purpose. Right now it mostly symbolizes a past for which we are thankful. How might it symbolize who we are now and who God is calling us to be? How might it symbolize new life? Transformation?  A diverse family of faith? Love for God and for each other in this community?

Maybe we need to add a third point:
  • Let's see if God will open conversations for us with people who simply drive by this building and ask them what they see. What would tell them that they are welcome here? What would draw them to walk in the doors to consider who Jesus is and what he might do in their life? What do they imagine seeing on our corner that expresses new life to our community?

Speaking of that corner, beginning in January, Nori Naylor is bringing over the Healing Rooms of Dinuba ministry from across town to our location. She directs this weekly ministry of prayer and healing. Each Tuesday evening, 5:30-8:30 p.m. starting in January, the Healing Rooms of Dinuba will be leading worship on the front steps of the building, right on the corner of El Monte and Nichols. Then they'll invite people in for ministry in what has been our church library. I'm thinking that these times of worship and prayer may be a good place for all of us to join as we're able, to pray about our presence on that corner and what use God might have for the building, or no building, or a new building. And let's pray that God will draw us into one mind as a body about this, for the praise of his glory.

Mark Isaac


Martha Sawatzky - December 21st, 2022 at 8:22pm

We will also be serving sweet back with 3 kinds of jam, and Ammonia cookies!

Ken Sawatzky - December 21st, 2022 at 11:05pm

Correction on the sweet backs it should have said zwiebach.

Marilyn Pitman - December 22nd, 2022 at 1:02am

I was thinking about how I feel about the Church sanctuary and I really couldn’t find the right words. I listened to a song called “this is the place” by the Gaither Vocal Band, and these words express my feelings. I would ask you to find the song and listen carefully. Thank you

Mark Isaac - December 22nd, 2022 at 2:12pm

I watched the video, Marilyn. Thank you for sharing!