NLC Connect January 31 2024

connect with God's Word

New Bible Memory Verse for February

Take some time to meditate on this verse, and on its context in 1 Peter 1.
It's part of a larger section calling us to holiness.
Holiness isn't a word we use much in our daily conversations. Unfortunately, it's become mostly a "church" word, and it's not used much in the church, either. The church and the world would certainly benefit from holiness! How? Through authentic (sincere) love.
You see, the Word of God speaks truth into our lives that transforms us in the image of Christ.
It changes us from self-interest to caring about the interests of others, like Jesus.
Holiness doesn't separate us from others. 
It moves us toward them with sincere, authentic love.
Because we know the grace of God in our lives we don't have to focus on ourselves.
We can truly turn toward others in love and lead them with the same grace to new life in Jesus.
 That is the Gospel.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass
    and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
    and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:22-25

Two worship ministry team earbud sets are missing.
If you happen to know where they are, please bring them to the media booth or Bruce Smith. 
Thank you!

connect your calendar

NO Worship Team Rehearsal
6:30 p.m. -Prayer Gathering meets - Room 113
  • Please join in praying for our pastoral transition process

5:30 p.m. - CELEBRATE RECOVERY meal, Lesson, Small groups, Solid Rock Cafe

8:30 a.m. - Growth Classes
  • Foundations in Finance - Room 111
  • Salt & Light: 2 Timothy - Rooms 114-115
9:30 a.m. - Connecting Point
  • Jason Protzman, former Associate Pastor at Living Word Fellowship and new successor to Bruce Smith as Executive Director of Tulare/Kings Youth for Christ, will be preaching on Vision from Nehemiah chapter 1
  • NLC Kids - Bible Buddy Sunday - See poster below
12:00 noon - YOUTH FOR CHRIST Annual Report Banquet - Dining Room
  • The lunch is free. Please stay afterward to hear about our ministry partner's work in Dinuba.
5:00 p.m. - NLC CREW  (youth group) - Room 207


6:00 p.m. - CR Worship Team rehearsal - Gym

6:00 a.m. - Men's Bible Study - Foundations in Faith series featuring David Platt - Dining Room
9:00 a.m. - LIFT Women's Bible Study - Abide (1,2,3 John) - Rooms 114/115
2:35 p.m. - Good News Club at Jefferson Elementary
6:30 p.m. - Final Griefshare - Rooms 114-115
6:30 p.m. - Healing Rooms of Dinuba - west porch of Worship Center

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Open Gate Soup Luncheon - Palm United Methodist Church, Dinuba
3:00 p.m. - Memorial Service for Lori Moreno - Gym/Dining Room
6:30 p.m. - Worship Team Rehearsal - Gym
6:30 p.m. -Prayer Gathering meets - Room 113
  • Please join in praying for our pastoral transition process

5:30 p.m. - CELEBRATE RECOVERY meal, TESTIMONY, small groups, Solid Rock Cafe


8:30 a.m. - Growth Classes
  • Foundations in Finance - Room 111
  • Salt & Light: 2 Timothy - Rooms 114-115
9:30 a.m. - Connecting Point
  • Pastor Mark preaching, Luke 5:12-16, Ministry Brings us to our Knees
  • Communion
  • "Souperbowl" offering for Open Gate Ministries
  • NLC Kids - Super Cereal Bowl Sunday - See poster below
5:00 p.m. - NLC CREW  (youth group) - Room 207


connect through giving

Received Last Week (1/28):.........$  5,484
Received this year to date: ..……..$161,962
Budget to Date: ………………...........$169,375
Budget Goal: …………........…...….....$400,342
Needed Weekly: ………......…….…….…$7,946

connect with God in prayer

  • Lori Moreno's memorial service is Wednesday, February 7th, at 3  p.m. at NLC.  Please continue praying for Justin and Amanda and their family, including Lori's daughter Mikayla and Thomas, Alyza, Aydien, and Austin.
  • Amanda Dover's grandfather, Verl Dover, passed away last Sunday.
  • Pray for health and peace for: Paulie Romero, Ron Froese (back/leg), Michelle Perez, Brian Willems, Al Suderman, and Mary Salazar.
  • Mike Naylor "rang the bell" as he completed his daily radiation treatments! Continue praying for full health and healing. Pastor Bill Nicolay (New Beginnings Church) is just beginning similar treatments. 
  • Ron Brown's sister Bonnie is undergoing treatments as her cancer has resurged. 
  • Ron Froese's sister-in-law, Garinel, has bone cancer. She lives in Missouri.
  • Remember others fighting cancer or awaiting diagnosis or treatment: Kristel Salazar, Eugene Enns, Carolina Coralles, Glen Zimmerman, Lanisha Washington, Kristel Salazar's coworker, Ricardo
  • Remember those who have lost loved ones recently: Manuel & Karen, Janet, Amanda & Justin, Lyubov, and Nora.
  • Otto Ekk returned safely from Portugal this week.
  • Cecil & Tracy Ramos and sons, Solas and Judah, are heading back to Thailand soon.
  • Pray for our children - NLC KIDS, and for Jessica Aquino as she leads the team in ministering to them and growing them and their families as disciples of Jesus. Pray for Joanna Espinoza Brooks as she cares for the littles in our nursery.
  • Pray for our pastoral transition. The Elders are forming a search committee with Ken Sawatzky from the Trustees. 
  • Lift up our District Minister Jordan Ringhofer and family, as well as our sister Mennonite Brethren churches in Fresno, Clovis, and Madera. 
  • Continue praying for an end to violence in Israel and Gaza, as well as in Russia and Ukraine, Yemen and the wider conflict in the Gulf States and the Middle East.

Pastoral Transition

Pastor Mark shared his resignation letter with the church on Sunday, January 28th. Elders and Trustees joined him on-stage and NLC President, Ron Brown, read a response. You can find those letters by clicking here.

What's happening in Mark & Laurie's life? Laurie is retiring after a 22 years at Visalia Unified School District where she has worked most recently in the front office at Green Acres Middle School. Her retirement starts June 14th. She's looking forward to a new schedule with her home-based business and praying about other opportunities to connect and serve. With a daughter and three grandchildren in Kansas, along with her mother, a sister, and Mark's sister there, she and Mark look forward to more freedom to visit more often. It also opens opportunities to visit their son on his schedule in Santa Rosa.

Mark is not officially retiring, yet. He is beginning his search for a new job or ministry that provides some flexibility as well as opportunities to build community, whether in the church or locally, full or part time. They do not have plans to move from Dinuba at this time, though that may change as work and ministry opportunities are determined. Mark and Laurie have two daughters living in Visalia and Fresno, as well as his parents in Morro Bay, so Dinuba is a great place for a home base.

Will they continue to attend NLC? Through June, for sure, and possibly after that depending on several things: whether the new pastor needs some time to establish himself, whether Mark accepts a ministry role that involves serving elsewhere on Sundays, or whether a new position would mean they would need to relocate. Mark & Laurie love NLC and have nothing else that would keep them from participating here.

How can we pray for Mark & Laurie? Pray that they will sense and follow God's leading in this next phase of their lives. Pray for wisdom, for peace, and for the right opportunities to invest themselves in work and relationships. Pray for Mark as he continues serving at NLC, preaching, and ministering to us as the church begins its own transition.

What's happening at NLC as we begin looking for a new pastor?  The Elders have been given the lead in starting the search for a new pastor. They began by praying and starting a list of people to consider and invite onto a search committee. The Trustees have appointed Ken Sawatzky as their representative for staff and ministry connections with the Elders, so he will be joining them as they start this process. Our district minister, Jordan Ringhofer, now a member of NLC along with his wife, Tristan, and sons, will be providing counsel, support, and assistance in the search process.

How can we pray for New Life Community?  Lift the Elders (Bruce Smith, Chinoh Aquino, and Otto Ekk), as well as Ken Sawatzky and Jordan Ringhofer to the Lord for wisdom and guidance as they begin the search process. Pray for Ron Brown as he oversees this process as our church president. Pray with confidence to Jesus, the Shepherd of the church, for his leadership. Pray against fear. He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion for the day of Christ Jesus. That's a Biblical promise to claim in prayer, with thanksgiving.

Who do I go to with my questions, concerns, or ideas? Please talk with any one of the Elders (Bruce, Chinoh, Otto), with Ken Sawatzky, or with Ron Brown. They can answer your questions or get back to you with an answer. And feel free to talk with Mark & Laurie, as well. And don't forget to talk with Jesus!

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