NLC News February 9 2023

Eight of our church kids plus two adults went to Hartland Jr. Winter Camp last weekend. They had a great time and grew in their knowledge of and commitment to Jesus Christ. Chinoh was assigned as a boys' counselor to another group from Fresno, plus Samuel. Two of the boys were a challenge the first few days, he said, but during the last teaching and worship session they both raised their hands. Chinoh was able to lead both boys to accept Christ!
Praise God he never gives us up on us, amen!? Let's keep our young people in prayer as they find their way through tough challenges at home, at school, and online. Jesus is there for them. Let's pray for them and not give up hope. God is awakening faith in this new generation!
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12
8:30 a.m. ADULT GROWTH CLASSES - NLC KIDS ministry for parents in growth classes ONLY
  • Video Class: 1 Peter - Room 111
  • Faith & Finances - Room 114/115
9:30 a.m. CONNECTING POINT (Dining Room) and Connecting Point for Kids (Rm 101)
10:00 a.m.  WORSHIP - NURSERY - NLC KIDS CHURCH - NLC CREW
  • Video from Chavez Family in Peru - prayer for the family
  • Pastor Mark preaching: "Time for a New Life" - Ephesians Part II -5:15-20
  • Recognition of Celebrate Recovery Leadership Team's first year - Testimonies
11:15 a.m. AFTER CHURCH 
  • The Bible Out Loud class - Room 111 (with children's activities for participants in 101)
Video from the Chavez Family in Peru this Sunday
THE COMING WEEK:
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14
6:00 a.m. NEW Men's Bible Study - Gospel of John, part 2 - Dining Room
9:00 a.m. L.I.F.T. Women's Bible Study - Encountering God - Room 114/115
6:00 p.m. CELEBRATE RECOVERY Women's Step Study - Room 114/115
6:30 p.m. Healing Rooms of Dinuba offers healing prayers - Church patio/library
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15
6:00 p.m. Worship Rehearsal - Gym
6:30 p.m. Prayer Gathering - Room 113
7:00 p.m. Stewardship Team meeting - Zoom

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16
5:30 p.m. CELEBRATE RECOVERY Dinner - Dining Room
6:30 p.m. CELEBRATE RECOVERY Worship / Lesson / Small Groups
  • Brian Willems speaking

NEXT WEEKEND:
FRIDAY-SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17-18
ACE Overcomers workshop - Please call the church office to register 591-1176
UPCOMING:
WEDNESDAY- SUNDAY, MAY 3-7 (or any of those days)
Register now for the ALL-CHURCH CAMPOUT!  Click for online registration.

Giving at NLC

Received Last Week (2/5) .........  $5,585
Received this year: ................  $172,271
Benevolence Fund  .....................   $447
Budget to Date: ………….......   $186,456
Budget Goal: ………................. $421,553
Needed Weekly: …….........…......  $8,596
PRAYER
  • Again, praise the Lord for moving in the lives of young people, like our Junior campers at Hartland last weekend! 
  • Good News Clubs began the new semester at Jefferson this week, and will start next week at Monson-Sultana. Pray that children will come, accept the Lord, and grow strong in him.
  • Ask the Lord if there is anything in your life that you need to "take off" in order to "put on" Christ. Consider the passage from Ephesians chapters 4-5 that we've been hearing Sundays.
  • Remember Sharon Allen and Joanna Brooks, who lost loved ones recently. The service for Sharon's brother, Mark Thompson, is Saturday, Feb. 18, at 11:00 a.m. in Fresno.
  • Pray for Ann Isaac, visiting her brother, Jorn, and family in Arizona. He is showing a slight response after a week in ICU resulting from a heart attack following a stent procedure. His doctors say he needs a miracle. So let's pray for one!
  • There are many who are fighting illness, including some battling cancer. Please pray for the Zimmerman, Enns, and Naylor families. Joanna Brooks continues to heal from a painful foot infection. Ask for God's healing and strength for Ann Enns, JR Southard, Ana and Camila, Sonya Morgan's father and his wife, and others who have shared with you.
  • Praise God for healing Ron Brown's sister, Bonnie, of her cancer. It's gone!
  • Henry & Ruth Serrato became grandparents this week! Praise God for a healthy grandson.
  • Pray for Pablo & Maricela and boys in Peru. These are challenging days as they adjust to their new home, church, school, friends, and community. There are many, many adjustments.
  • Otto & Marjorie Ekk returned from a trip to Portugal, supporting the ongoing work of the church and various ministries. Continue to pray that the church will grow and reach out.
  • Pray for the thousands of people affected by the massive earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria. Reports of more than 11,000 dead mean that thousands more are mourning. Most are without housing now during these winter days. These countries have extremely few Christians. Pray that the light of Christ will reach all those who are suffering.
  • Pray for the Dinuba Presbyterian Church and their pastor Chelsea Ham. The church continues to be a strong partner of Open Gate Ministries. 

When Did Your Faith Turn Outward?

At some point in our life of faith, God's Holy Spirit directs us outward toward others. It happens through service, through evangelism, and even through community engagement--becoming part of the city in which you live.

Menno Simons, the founder of our Mennonite community once wrote, "True evangelical faith...cannot lie dormant, but spreads itself out in all kinds of righteousness and fruits of love." He went on to say that true faith in Jesus clothes the naked, feeds the hungry, consoles the sorrowful, and binds up what is wounded, and becomes all things to all people. It is outward-focused just as our Savior, Jesus, turned himself from heaven to come to us.

When did your faith turn outward? And how is continuing to turn outward?

I've looked at various times in my own life when I was challenged to turn outward. As a child I heard missionaries speak about taking the Gospel to other countries. My parents had various missionaries in our home for a meal where I got to hear first-hand their experiences. My parents taught in public schools, and taught me by their example of the responsibility to live a witness before others there. When I went on a mission trip in high school I found my heart growing outward toward others, as has happened on several such trips over my adult life. Becoming engaged in the life of the cities where Laurie and I have lived also exposed me to believers already there. To this day I keep a share eye out for all the people and places where God is at work all around me. There are countless ways over the years God has opened my eyes to see Him outside the walls of the church.

Our church's vision turned outward in 2019. We are a relational church that has historically been more inward-focused, sharing a closely-related Mennonite Brethren identity. Moving forward, we agreed, our commitment would be to extend our relational values into our community. We don't prefer to talk about "us" and "them", but simply "our community".  We are also a responsive church, historically quick in sending out missionaries or meeting the needs of others through Mennonite-related organizations. Moving forward, we agreed to meet the challenge of responding equally quick in supporting the people of our community. It's been an opportunity for many to turn our faith outward, and our community has noticed.

A church is a body made up of people, who individually live out a common faith. So how are you turning outward in your faith? Where is God prompting you to move toward others? What will be your next step outward? As you consider this, remember Jesus' words to his disciples whom he sent outward. "I am with you always, even to the end of the world." As you turn outward, don't fear what you might face. Jesus is not only with you...he's already there waiting for you to join him!

Otto Ekk

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