From the Pastor’s Desk

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Mar 212019
 

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! (II Cor. 5:17)

Finally, Spring is arriving! There is no more beautiful place on earth in the Springtime than in the South! The daffodils begin to bloom, then the honeysuckles and wisteria. The earth shakes off its winter coat, and new life breaks forth.

It is no wonder that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the spring time! People often ask me, “Who determines when Easter is?” It was the Council of Nicaea in 325CE that decided Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first Full Moon after the vernal equinox.

As much as we may want to get to Easter to experience this new life in Christ, we would be wise to remember Paul’s words that when this new life comes, the old life passes away. Now, there may be much of the old life that we really want to pass away. You and I could each make a list of the parts of the old life that we need to have pass away…but then there are those others parts that we would prefer to hold on to. As wonderful as new life sounds, sometimes we aren’t sure that we are ready to let go of some of the old life quite yet.

The message of Easter is one of transformation—a huge, dramatic transformation beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. This is the Good News of Jesus Christ. God is at work creating new life. The journey of faith is that we are willing to let the old life pass away so that God’s new creation breaks forth in each one of us and in the church of Jesus Christ! Happy Spring!

May God bless you all,

Susan

 

From the Interim Director of Children, Youth, and Families

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Mar 212019
 

VBS volunteers needed!

Spring is here! Halleluiah!

With the onset of warmer weather, I am in full planning mode for children and youth summer programming. One well loved tradition that I am preparing for is Vacation Bible School. Our theme this year is Bible Science. We’ll be learning how Bible lessons apply to modern scientific principles the week of July 29-August 2. I have been having a lot of fun planning for this week-long event, but of course, I can’t pull it off alone.

Please email me at joanna.stuckeysteele@nwpres.org or call me at 336-667-1288 to volunteer your time and talents for VBS later this summer.

Elderberry Luncheon – March 25, 2019

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Mar 202019
 

On Monday, March 25, 2019, the Elderberries will meet at Teresa’s Carousel Café at 11:30 am.  This month will be Vacation Senior Show and Tell, so bring a photo or memento from a recent or past special vacation to share with the group!  It will be fun with lots of special stories, fellowship and food!

Hope to see all the Elderberries or Elderberry Wannabes then!  We have a great time and the more of us there are, the better it is enjoyed by all!  See you on Monday the 25th!!!  Please let me know if you are attending!!

Future Planning –

April 22 (?) – Lunch at Fine Friends

May 20 (?) – Outing to the Yellow Deli in Hiddenite, NC

Kirk Night Lenten Bible Study 2019

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Mar 202019
 

The culture in Corinth conflicted greatly with the lifestyle that the Apostle Paul proclaimed to those who chose to follow Jesus. In the same way, the church today is called to proclaim the gospel in every environment, showing the world what it looks like when we give our lives to Jesus.

Filmed on location in Israel and Greece, in the Cultures in Conflict Study, Teacher Ray Vander Laan in this 16th volume of the That The World May Know ® film series, addresses how you live in a culture where the worldview conflicts with Christianity.

The schedule for these sessions to be shared during Kirk Night is as follows:

March 20 – Turning Weakness into Strength filmed in Israel and Corinth, Greece

March 27 – The Lord’s Supper: Discerning the Body filmed in Greece

April 3 – Transforming the Chaos filmed in Corinth, Greece

I believe you will enjoy these lessons and gain new insights into Jesus’ world and life through the eyes of Ray Vander Laan.  A historian and teacher who sets his teachings in the framework of what the Jewish people encountering Jesus and his message would have heard, Ray provides messages that will encourage you to look at the Bible in a new way.

Then on:

April 24 – Who Is This Man: Three Days That Changed The World by John Ortberg

Presbyterian Minister, John Ortberg, reveals how Jesus and Christianity came to make an inescapable influence on our world, and how we as Christians can make a difference too.

Please join us for all, or just one, of these lessons on Kirk Night at 6:30 pm.

News from the Wilkesboro Chapel

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Feb 272019
 

Worship begins at 9:00 a.m. each Sunday morning and is followed by Sunday School at 10:00 a.m.

Holy Communion will be celebrated on March 3, 2019 during the worship service.

Bible study dates are March 13 and 27, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.

Our Sunday school class is studying “What is the Bible?” by Rob Bell.

Ash Wednesday Service

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Feb 272019
 

On Wednesday, March 6, the Ash Wednesday service will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten Season in the life of the church, when as disciples of Jesus, we traditionally observe a time of penitence, prayer, and self-examination.  The ritual of the imposition of ashes will be offered to all.

From the Interim Director of Children, Youth, and Family

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Feb 272019
 

I remember being in school on minor holidays and wondering, if they were such a big deal, why were we in school that day? Then I grew up and realized that holidays like Halloween, ground hog day, and Valentine’s Day were only a way to celebrate something in school. These days aren’t really such a big deal at all in the “real world.” St. Patrick’s Day is another one of these not-big-deal days that we celebrate, and several years ago I began to wonder who St. Patrick was and why he had a day named after him at all. During my research I came across St. Patrick’s breastplate prayer. It has since been a favorite of mine, especially this part:

“Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me,

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.”

What a beautiful sentiment. God is always with us. I urge you to look up St. Patrick’s story. It’s really much more interesting than eating cabbage and pinching people who don’t wear green.

 

 

From the Pastor’s Desk

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Feb 272019
 

Dear NWPC Family,

With the coming of the month of March this year, we are pushed right into the Season of Lent. Lent is observed the 40 days prior to Easter, not counting Sundays. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, and the day before Ash Wednesday is called…. Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday and the days that preceded it were set aside to clear out all the rich, fatty foods in the house so that everyone could get ready for periods of fasting. These 40 days of Lent were to be a daily reminder of Jesus’ 40 days in the desert.

You may want to choose to observe Lent in various ways. Some will decide to give up something while others will want to adopt a new spiritual practice. If you don’t already, you could try daily during Lent to have morning prayer, or to give of yourself by doing one intentional act of kindness every day, or to set aside a time to be still, or to change your eating habits in some way, or to focus on earth care, or something else altogether. Recently, when I wanted to intentionally incorporate daily gratitude into my life, I set a reminder on my phone to ping at the same time each day to make me stop and be mindful of all God’s goodness in my life.

In worship during this Lenten Season, we will focus on Generosity. God’s amazing generosity to us as well as our generosity to others. The Apostle Paul reminds us, “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (II Cor. 9:7)  Some scholars have even translated “cheerful” with the sense of “hilarious.” Someone who gives with such hilarious joy, overflowing with gratitude and love for God.

This Lent, I want to explore clearing out any clutter in my heart or in my possessions or in anything else that holds me back from being a hilariously joyful giver so that I can fully celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness. Please join me!

May God bless you all,

Susan