From the Laptop of Pastor Jane
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 New beginnings! Renewal! Spring! Easter! Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow; Because He Lives, All Fear is Gone. Because I know, He Holds the Future; And Life is Worth the Living Just Because He Lives!
Have you ever received a gift that has touched the core of your heart and made you realize just how blessed you have been, how blessed you are today and how blessed you will be tomorrow in spite of any circumstance or challenge, from the valley to the mountaintop? Dear Friends, this Easter I have received two.
The first is the amazing and precious gift of a Savior who took the journey from the cradle to the cross for me! It is so personal that there are few words to describe it as it continues to change me and something I want the world to see through my actions and deeds, for this gift awaits all God’s children. Yet, often what comes to mind is “am I allowing this gift” to truly shine through me so others can make Jesus their Forever Friend? Why? For this gift is not just for me and needs to be shared!
Yet, this Easter, I have received a second gift too! After several years of working side by side with our church family, together we chose to change the name of our church with the hope that it would represent why we are here and others that pass would feel led to come through our doors. This change was also to help us become renewed, take our faith to new places, and allow the Lord to work through us so others might experience the love of Christ like never before! Last Saturday, as the new sign was put up, I realized it was a SIGN for each of us to allow Christ to “renew us”, “live in us” and to “go into all the world” and share His amazing grace and love.
Often we become too comfortable and sadly too, that creates no opportunity for growth in our own lives and in the life of His church. Change is not easy, as we all can attest to, but it can be very exciting and is needed in order for the gift of His spirit to come alive in our world! If we, as His family of God, do not allow change, we will miss many blessings that are waiting for us!
As your Pastor and as your friend, I want to ask you to join me in a new journey, a new beginning, a time of renewal, realizing together we have received two amazing gifts this Easter! Will it take change in you and me, “YES”; will we need to go the extra mile, “YES”; will we need to put aside all fears for tomorrow, “YES”; and will each of us need to be part of the necessary changes to live for Him, “YES”! Friends, we are too comfortable and need to take a step of faith in new directions where the Lord leads us! We have been called as His children and the Lord has given us feet and hands of faith to take these gifts to our world! This is an opportunity of a lifetime friends, and it is my prayer that TOGETHER, we too, step out in faith and walk more closely for Him. Are you ready? It is because of Jesus, we are made new and perhaps it is time for us to put on our new garments of faith, like never before!
In the next few weeks, opportunities will come your way. It is my prayer; together we take them for HIM and take our faith into the world, like never before! Because He lives, we can face anything together! Happy Easter friends! Thank God for new beginnings!
Watch for new opportunities to serve including “Lunch Bunch”; “Together 1 plus 1 = 2 plus 2”; and “His Feet and Hands.” Start thinking about one or two things you can change in your life to allow you the opportunity to be part of something new and exciting! The entire body of Christ is needed so we can grow.
WE PRAY FOR
Ethel Van Der Horn, Marie Dorfman, Janet Styles, Trudy Verblaauw, Joan Betsy, Ray Tarantino, Kim Megnin, Paul Munch, Juliette Lagasi, Sherrie Piroso (Bonnie Voellmy’s cousin), Chris Masi, Sheila Zieger, Helen Nerder, Rich Rebecky, Iris Wood, Joe Boniface, Donna Michel, and Claire Wallenburg.
Lost loved ones: The Coletto/Garman, Cropco, Anthony, Vazquez; Fischer; Wallenburg/Flynn families.
Mission and military: Joan and Mike Vieira and the Good Shepherd Mission; Barbara and Hilary Gierman at Camp Lebanon; Ryan Wetherhead at City Church; Steven Conklin, Sam Lick, and Woody Valerio in the military.
Clothing for Good Shepherd Mission, Hilltop Haven, & Heart ‘n Hand Mission: All donated clothing can be placed under the narthex benches, marked accordingly, in small easy-to-carry bags.
W.I.N. The pantry is currently in need of paper products, personal care items, mayo, ketchup. Mustard, salad dressing, peanut butter, jelly, fruit juices, canned fruits, tomato sauce, rice, dried beans, and instant potatoes. Donations are always welcome.
W.I.N.-WIN! on Wednesdays from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. to help us become healthier and release stress from our daily lives. Weigh-in time from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. followed by a half hour of Gentle Journey Yoga. Bring a pillow or bolster to use and although the floors are carpeted, you might want a mat also. There will be a jar to make a donation to the Food Bank or you can bring an item or two for the W.I.N. pantry.
Joanne’s Joy will be meeting on April Joanne’s Joy will be meeting on April 8th following morning worship. We will be planning our Strawberry Festival and other spring activities. All are welcome to join us.
Bible Study on Max Lucado’s book and video “Anxious for Nothing” will be held on Thursdays at Healing Hands (1:30 p.m.) & God Sightings (7:30 p.m.) on April 5 and 19, and May 3rd.
Young at Heart we will be meeting on Tuesdays, April 3rd and May 1st at 11:00 a.m. Please join us for good fellowship and an interesting program.
Save Toiletries: It is not too early to start to save the small individual toiletries as you travel. You might also like to check with the hotel to see if any of the following items are available: combs, disposable razors, shaving gel, toothbrushes, toothpaste, powder, hand sanitizers, and deodorant.
We Believe! Sunday, April 15th Pastor Linda Van Kampen will be on the pulpit that morning and give us the message that God has placed on her heart. Following worship, all are invited to Kenyon Hall for “Coffee and …”.
Adopt a Camper! During May you will have the opportunity to adopt a camper or mission team member. Watch for more details to come.
Mothers Day Remembrances: Once again two carnations in a bud vase will be available as remembrances for the special women in our lives. Cost of each remembrance is $5.00. Please sign up on the narthex bulletin board.
Women’s Retreat: April 27 –29th, our women will be taking a “Journey to the Sea” at the Jersey shore. There are still a few openings, see Pastor Jane if you are interested in going.
A Special Thank-You:
- to the many who helped to make our Corned Beef Dinner a success. A special thank you to our potato and kitchen teams, our youth, our bakers, and all those who supported us. Together we raised over $2623 towards our mission trip. .
- to Karen Romero, our Choir Director who keeps us blended; Nancy Gilman, our narrator; Castor Castillo, Jr., our sound and technology expert; our amazing Sanctuary Choir who share their talents and time; and to each of you, who joined us in celebrating Our Savior through our cantata, “Two Crowns.”
- to Ernie and Jordan Bailey, Rey Vazquez, Rick Mancini, and Gerry Harlan who installed our new sign. It looks wonderful.
- To Rich Van Kampen who spent countless hours cleaning our sanctuary. It looks great!
Upcoming Dates to Remember:
- April 22nd—Combined Board meeting at 11:45 a.m. following morning worship,
- April 22nd—5:00 p.m. Mission Dinner at Pastor Jane’s home.
- April 29th—Pastor Herb preaching
- May 1st—Young at Heart Meeting, 11 a.m.
- May 6th—Quarterly Business meeting and ”Coffee and …” following morning worship
- May 13th—Mother’s Day
- May 20th—Combined Board Meeting