New Life Foursquare Gospel Church

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1 New Life Foursquare Gospel Church Church Family News and Upcoming Events December 2017 As the lead pastor of New Life Church, I get asked that question quite often. I regularly find myself at different social events catching up with friends, family members, and acquaintances people who care about me and our fellowship and they want to know how we're doing. Sometimes, however, I'm not quite sure what kind of answers they're looking for what measures or standards are they thinking of when evaluating if we're doing well. Are we asking about attendance or finances? Are we thinking about individuals within our body who may be doing well or experiencing suffering due to an illness, etc.? There are a number of pieces of information that might suffice as an answer to the question, and I see the way that I answer as an opportunity to help people think biblically about the church and its mission. To truly answer a question like "How's the church doing?," we must have a clear sense of what the church is and what the church is supposed to be doing. The Bible teaches that the church is a group of God's people. The most basic meaning of the word in the New Testament is "assembly" a group of God's people who have come together to walk with him. And so, God has called out a group of people who follow Jesus and assembled them into a community where they encourage, build up, and help one another along in their journey with God. Jesus tells his disciples to go and make disciples bringing them into relationship with God and teaching them to obey all that Jesus taught. This is what the church is at its core people who follow Jesus helping others to follow Jesus. One way that we have expressed this at New Life is that we exist to cultivate spiritual transformation in our lives and our community. What exactly does that mean? "Spiritual transformation" is all about the new life that God has for us in Christ. It is through Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross that we are brought into right relationship with God. We were once enemies of God because of our own wrongdoing, but now we have forgiveness and fellowship with God through faith in Christ. This new life is all about putting off the old self with its wrong desires, growing in relationship with God, and becoming more and more like him in his holiness and righteousness. We have been made new, and we are being transformed into his glorious image. The phrase "in our lives and our community" is an acknowledgement of the scope of God's transformative work. God loves me, and Christ gave himself for me. Transformation is deeply personal, and it begins with me. But, it doesn't stop there. God is not simply concerned with my personal sin problem. He wants to save me from it, but he also invites me to participate in his plan to save the rest of humanity as well. He works through us to share his good news of life in Christ. Therefore, as I think about the ways that God wants to transform our community, I ask (Continued on next page) New Life, June 2014, Page 1

2 (Continued from page 1) [As a church] we exist to cultivate spiritual transformation in our lives and our community... [God wants to save me from sin], but he also invites me to participate in his plan to save the rest of humanity as well. him about the part that I play in helping bring his goodness to my family, my church, my workplace, my city, my country, and my world. Finally, the word "cultivate" highlights the nature of the role that we play in the transformation of others. We can help, we can nurture, we can teach and train, but we recognize that only God can cause someone to grow. Each individual is responsible for their own relationship with the Lord, and we can't make anybody do anything. What we can do is care for others and walk alongside them to help them along the journey. I think we do this well by building genuine relationships with people, operating in the power of God's Word and his Spirit, and serving others in love. These are the measures we use to evaluate how we're doing. I want to see God growing us, transforming us, making us more like him. If we're cultivating these things within our fellowship, then we truly are doing well as God works through us for his glory. - Pastor Brandon Quote: The angel on that first Christmas night said, For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11, NKJV). If we believe this, then it makes all the difference in the world for us. Life takes on a new dimension. Billy Graham, November 29, 2004 December 2004 Decision Magazine Monday, December 11 doors open at 6:30 Memorial Baptist Church 224 Taylor Street, Staunton All are invited for a festive time of music and fellowship. A "Meet and Greet the Artists" time with refreshments will follow the concert. A free-will offering will be received to benefit SACRA (Staunton August Church Relief Association). Local musical artists include: Christopher Bono, organist prelude at 6:30 Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir, nationally acclaimed children's choir The Faithful Men, 12-member vocal group Mr. Jefferson's Bones, trombone fun During the past fiscal year SACRA, an allvolunteer, ecumenical, 501(c)(3) organization, dispensed $173, to help 888 area families with housing, food, and other misc. emergencies (top expenditures were for electrical and rent assistance). A number of churches, individuals, organizations, and clients enabled SACRA to aid these families in need. For many years, our church has been blessed to contribute to the efforts of SACRA. Thank you for supporting this ministry. New Life, June 2014, Page 2

3 The Christmas Give Saturday, Dec. 9 9:00 12:00 The Christmas Give is just like a yard sale, but everything is free. We want to bless families in our community who may need a bit of extra help at this time of year. Volunteers and donations are needed where is God calling YOU to help? Christmas Give Part 1 (Invite our Community) Christmas Give Part 2 (Set Up & Prepare) Saturday, December 2 Time: 10:00-12:00 Where: Meet in Church Foyer Monday-Friday, Dec. 4-8 Time: 10:00-5:00 Volunteers Needed Hand out flyers to families Where: Gym in our community inviting them to the Give (Also Tue. & Wed. Fellowship Times) Volunteers Needed Set Up / Arrange tables Sort & arrange items Donations needed: Christmas Give Part 3 (The Main Event) Saturday, December 9 Time: Volunteers: 8:00 am Open to Public 9:00-12:00 Volunteers Needed Greet & assist shoppers Make coffee & serve donuts Clean up & put away Place Christmas Give signs (& remove after) Gently used / new winter wear: Hats, gloves, coats, sweaters, boots, etc. Gently used / new clothing New packs of underwear: It s been reported that underwear is the second most-needed item (after food) requested by families in need. And new socks are always needed. Groceries: Canned, boxed, and packaged foods such as cereals, pastas, pasta sauces, vegetables, fruits, meats. (Sorry, we are unable to store food items requiring refrigeration.) Household supplies: Laundry detergents, dish liquids, toilet paper, general cleaning supplies Hygiene supplies: Toothbrushes, toothpaste, bath soaps, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, etc. Used / new household items, tools, décor, toys, etc. Christmas gift items (new items), to help with our guests "Christmas shopping." Most categories of items will have posted limits so that we will be able to share with as many families as possible. Items will be available while supplies last. SNOW DATE: Sunday, Dec. 10, 2:00 pm New Life, June 2014, Page 3

4 M ost of our church family especially kids and parents know me best through my position as Director of Kids Ministry. But in this article, I'd like to share my heart simply as a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and a sister in the Lord. Another year is coming to a close, and I have been through so much in the past year. It all started with my broken foot at the end of last November forcing me to wear a boot and walking shoe through Christmas and well into the New Year. Then, I had to deal with dental procedures at the beginning of the year that were finally taken care of last week! Yes, it took 7 months for a crown to be placed correctly. In the middle of that, I also had an unexpected root canal which caused hours upon hours of tear-wrenching, excruciating pain! It seemed like every week I had a new pain in my body while the other pains remained relentless. I was putting on a brave face for everyone while screaming on the inside This isn t fair! Why, God? Finally some of the dental and foot pain subsided just in time for my knee to act up. (It s been 5 years since my major surgery.) Two trips to UVA and an MRI later, the doctor still can t tell me what caused the flare up, but he did find a stress fracture on the back of my knee, apparently from the fall and broken foot, 6 months previous. Finally, as if all the stress and trauma to my body wasn t enough for the year, I got into an accident and totaled my car. The emotions of those few weeks after the car accident were unbearable. I was a wreck. I was in great despair. I was at a total loss. I didn t want to talk to God anymore. I knew he was still there. I knew there was a point and a purpose to all of this, but I didn t want to hear it. I didn t want to go though anymore pain, physically or emotionally. I was exhausted but Finding Rest there was more more little things that kept piling up, more of the life that I was supposed to live, but no longer wanted to deal with. Depression, heartache, anxiety (especially while driving) were all entering the scene, bringing me down, down to the deepest despair I had felt in years. And then a glorious 3 days happened. REST, rest from my life, rest from my kids and their schooling, rest from my husband, rest from my responsibilities at church. REST!! Glorious REST. My own little, very short, 3-day Sabbatical. An extended Sabbath if you will. It definitely was not a happy magic cure that made everything storybook perfect, but it did give me a break. I finally got to reconnect with God. I was able to focus on just Him and only Him. I had all intentions of complaining to God, asking him all those hard questions of why he had let all of this happen to me. I was angry and wanted answers. But, once I felt his presence, once it was just Him and me, all those questions faded, and not once did I even think of them during those 3 days. I was able to spend some quality time with just Him. I was able to pray and worship, read, and take walks with my Maker. I was able to breathe. I was able to relax in his presence. I didn t come back a new person with everything figured out, but I did come back refreshed and restored by spending time with my Heavenly Father. I still don t have answers to why all of those horrible things happened to me all in one year, and maybe I never will. What I do have is God s love and compassion and an understanding that I am his child. Those three days will always be remembered as a turning point for me to trust God more and to look for his faithfulness even through the trials. I am looking forward to a new year, a new start, and hopefully, a renewed strength to face whatever God has planned next. Virginia Henry New Life, June 2014, Page 4

5 Sunday, December 17 11:00 am Dave, a smart phone user, has decided to share the Christmas story with his friends and family using his favorite Emojis. Emojis take on the roles of the Angel, Herod, the Shepherds, and more as Dave uses music and scripture to share the good news about the baby Jesus. Members of our Kids Church & Youth Group invite you to hear the Christmas story retold in a fun, new way! Please bring your family & friends to help celebrate the Reason for the Season! Cast, Crew Members, & Parents, Please make a note of these important practice times: Wednesday, Dec. 6 7:00-8:15 - ALL Cast & Crew (Sanctuary) Wednesday, Dec. 13, 6:30 pm - All Cast & Crew Dress rehearsal (Sanctuary) Sunday, Dec. 17, 10:00 am - All Cast and Crew (Sanctuary) The Program will be presented during the 11:00 Service. Want to read the Christmas story again and refresh your memory? Matthew 1:18-2:21 Luke 1, 2 New Life, June 2014, Page 5

6 New Life, June 2014, Page 6

7 SUN MON TUE WED Invite someone to join you each Sunday morning! Sunday School for All Ages 10:00 Service 11:00 THU 1 FRI Team 2 SAT 10:00 Invite Neighbors to the Give 3 Communion 4 5 9:30 am Tuesday Fellowship Family Night :30 am Tuesday Fellowship 17 Christmas Program Blessed Christmas! :30 am Tuesday Fellowship 26 No Tues. Fellowship 13 Family Night 20 Family Night :30 pm Church Council Team Team Private Event in Gym 30 Family Night Team 31 New Life, June 2014, Page 7

8 AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), you will be asked to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. May we request that you consider naming our church? Staunton Foursquare Church (Staunton Foursquare Church is our legal name. "New Life Foursquare Church is our Community Name.) For more information, please visit their website: smile.amazon.com New Life Foursquare Gospel Church 97 William Cousins Road Staunton, VA Pastor: Brandon Carter Church (540) SUNDAY SERVICES Fellowship/ Team Sunday School Service 9:30 am 10:00 am 11:00 am WEDNESDAY FAMILY NIGHT Adults, Youth, Kids, Nursery 7:00-8:15 pm New Life, June 2014, Page 8

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