Friday Focus – December 8, 2017

Click HERE to read the entire December 8, 2017 issue.

from . . . Dick Sartwell
The verb to lament typically means to express sorrow, mourning, grief, or regret. It can also include expressing anger, fear, or bewilderment. All of those emotions are feelings many of us prefer not to have or to express. The reality is that sometimes we do have them.
It’s important to see that lamenting is modeled for us in the scriptures. One of the books of the Bible is called Lamentations. A third of the psalms express feelings of lament. And Jesus himself quoted one of those psalms (Psalm 22) on the cross when he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Somehow “owning” these feelings and expressing them helps us move through them by faith to trust God with the circumstances of our lives.
This Sunday evening at 6 p.m. we’ll gather in the NFC sanctuary for a Service of Lament, an opportunity for those who need to express any of the feelings named above in the face of some loss or other circumstance in life that weighs heavy at this time of year. For some this will be the first Christmas without a particular loved one. For others there may be a loss of a very different kind. For almost all of us at NFC, this year has brought to us the loss of our church as we had known it for many years. Let’s gather to support each other in expressing sorrow and related feelings through scripture, song, and quiet meditation. Those who journal may wish to bring their journal with them for use during the service.

Friday Focus – December 1, 2017

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Please attend our (NWYM) area’s
gathering tomorrow!

NFC social hall • 10 a.m. to noon

Update on NWYM Visioning Process (adapted from NWYM Connection)

Area meetings have been held for Southern Idaho, Inland, and Southern Oregon. The remaining five area meetings will be held the last week of November/first weekend of December.  Attendance has been encouraging and there has been lots of energetic discussion about our future together as ministers of God’s truth, love, and hope for people.
To those who responded to receive a link to the visioning questionnaire: once all of the area meetings have finished (this weekend), you will soon receive the survey link. Genysys, the organization tasked with survey results, will send the questionnaire to all participants at the same time. The questions will likely make more sense after tomorrow’s meeting, where we can ask questions and share hopes for the reorganization of the yearly meeting. The information obtained from the questionnaire will then be used at the NWYM Visioning Day, tentatively planned for January 2018.
If you have questions, please contact Brad Holton or Debbie Harrison. Please continue to pray for the area meetings and for the Visioning Task Force, which will be meeting for the first time after the first of the year.
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Further encouragement from Ron Stansell, clerk of the elders: I would strongly encourage you to step forward and take part in this gathering as an opportunity to creatively help chart the future of Northwest Yearly Meeting. It’s our chance to speak up for outreach, for world mission, for compassion and a welcoming spirit true to the historic spirit of Friends while creatively engaging ourselves in the world and culture in which we live.
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Friendsview Friends: transportation provided! Pick up: 9:40am. Sign up at Friendsview’s front desk.

Friday Focus – November 17, 2017

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19
The NWYM Thanksgiving Offering will help Mexico Yearly Meeting in the earthquake relief work happening after the two large earthquakes in September. Edwin and Maria Giron, the EFM missionaries in Mexico, report their church and families in their church did not suffer damage from the earthquakes, but they have become a primary point of support for many churches and families in their area that did lose housing. Click HERE to see the Thanksgiving Offering brochure and HERE (corrected link) to spend three minutes with Edwin and Maria.
Our Thanksgiving Offering will be received on Sunday, November 19, along with our regular offering. Please be sure to designate your check: Thanksgiving Offering.

Friday Focus – November 10, 2017

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From . . . Sherry Macy
Hal Magee, from Bible Foundation, answered my request to pick up three boxes of Bibles. I made this call sooner than usual because Ken Howe had just dropped off two boxes as part of his and Ann’s preparation for their move to Friendsview. “Can they use a German Bible?” Ken asked? Bible Foundation accepts “all non-gooey Bibles,” answered Jerry Kingery, who has led this ministry for many years. They gladly take damaged and partial Bibles in any language. Hal told me Bibles are sometimes given out in parts rather than let someone leave empty handed. (Hal also mentioned that he and his wife were married at NFC 60 years ago!)
Somehow I missed the postcard this year, reminding me to broadcast Bible Foundation’s October Bible Drive. Here it is November, but they won’t mind if we encourage Bible donation any month of the year. Some of you cleared your shelves without my encouragement and donated anyway, enough to fill that third box. Thank you! Now let’s give Hal an excuse to come back soon. Our Bible collection box (in the passage between sanctuary and library) awaits!

Friday Focus – November 3, 2017

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The local church elders (Ron Stansell, Gail Hutchinson, Bob Hampton, Ron Woodward, Julie Anderson, Hank Helsabeck, and Dave Woolsey), joined by Interim Pastor Dick Sartwell, met for a full day on Tuesday for prayer and discussion to outline a process for the creation of a pastoral search committee toward the goal of having a new lead pastor recommended and approved by the congregation for service to begin July 1, 2018. Members of the search committee will be published in next week’s Friday Focus after the elders have secured the agreement of each proposed committee member.

At the same time the search committee begins its work, the elders will be planning group activities open to all those of the congregation who would like to participate in a related process of rewriting our NFC Mission and Vision statements and clarifying “who we are as a church.” From week to week, watch for a box in the newsletter that looks like the one containing this notice. You’ll see developments in the search process and suggestions for prayer related to it.

Pray: For a sense of calling and leading for those invited to consider being on the search committee. And pray for the elders as they begin to implement the process

Friday Focus – October 27, 2017

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From Dick Sartwell . . .

As part of our service this Sunday we want to recognize our spiritual inheritance from those who’ve walked the path of Christian discipleship before us. You can share this blessing with others by bringing a family Bible for “Show and Tell.” Maybe your Bible has a page with entries of your family ancestors. Or perhaps you inherited a Bible used by a favorite relative whose Christian life you deeply respect. Were you given a Bible by a “spiritual mother” or “spiritual father” who helped you enter a saving relationship with Jesus and presented that Bible to you as a tangible expression of their love and care for you?
Bring that special Bible to church with you on Sunday, and we’ll have a table at the front of the sanctuary where it can be displayed. We’ll even give you a brief opportunity to tell us what is important to you about the people represented by that Bible.

Friday Focus – October 20, 2017

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Preparing for Reformation Sunday

October marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s act of nailing 95 theses on the Castle Church door. On Sunday morning we will recognize this commemoration and get right at the heart of how the Reformation affects us today. Below, find some important encouragement from a blogpost published by Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Connecticut.

“A large part of the Reformation was establishing what was authoritative. If it wasn’t tradition or the pope, then what? How could we know what was real and what was false? What could we trust? Luther and others came to believe that the only thing in this world that is fully trustworthy and infallible is the Bible. It is, of course, subject to abuse, misinterpretation, and misapplication by fallen men, but it is clear and simple enough that Christians can understand it. Everyone then should be urged to read it and everyone who does so in faith will be blessed.

“We live in an age and country when and where good, trustworthy translations of the Bible are abundant and cheap. It is even possible to get free Bibles on our phones. The blessings of daily Bible reading are difficult to overstate. So why not celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by committing to it? Set yourself a goal of reading the Bible every day for one year starting today.”

Friday Focus – October 13, 2017

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A New Christian Ed Opportunity Begins October 22!

A need was felt and a call was answered for an additional Sunday school option. “Oasis” was born out of a desire for teaching and conversation as we face into life’s challenges. Since everyone faces challenges in their personal and work and home and community environments, everyone fits the structure of this class.
Bob Hampton, Russ Ragsdale, and Gail Hutchinson will oversee Oasis, a class that will be interactive and will maintain the purpose of encouraging and supporting single or married adults during the challenges of life. Leaders will begin with the theme “Living Well in the Midst of Change,” reflecting on the book of Philippians. Time will be spent praying together over the needs and blessings shared within the class.
Interested? Of course you are! Plan to join this start-up class right from its inception. Contact Bob Hampton for additional information.

Begins Sunday, October 22 • 9 a.m. • Barclay A

Friday Focus – October 6, 2017

Click HERE to read the entire October 6, 2017 issue.

A Psalm of Praise
by Kathy Schlittenhart

The earth is full of Your glory, Yahweh; it speaks of Your existence,
and it is the visible reflection of Your radiant beauty and holiness.
All that You have made tells the epic story of Your lavish love.
You spoke, the universe was created; You gave the earth light and life.
You formed mankind out of dust, knelt down beside us, blew into our nostrils
the very breath of Your own life – and man became a living soul.
You made each one of us in Your own image and likeness,
so that we would look just like You and be holy like You.
Even when we sinned, You had a predetermined plan to redeem us.
You sent Your Beloved Son as an innocent, perfect sacrifice for our sin.
You told us to look to Him, listen to Him – and live!

You are my very own Father, my beloved Abba. I love You and trust You.
Your compassion and everlasting love are awesome;
You are worthy of worship.
Thank You for adopting me into Your heavenly family.
You are my refuge and my God; it is easy to believe in You.
I abide under the shadow of Your wings,
In the secret place next to Your heart.

Yeshua, You are the eternal Word of God, written on my heart.
You redeemed my soul from slavery to sin and saved me when I asked.
You have forgiven me so I can forgive myself – and others.
I am totally identified with You in Your death, burial and resurrection.
I am born again, a new creation, made righteous, set free, in union with You.
You have given me eternal life and resurrection power to live a supernatural life.
You are my Beloved, my Bridegroom and Friend; I am Yours and You are mine.

Precious Holy Spirit, abiding Companion, personal Counsellor,
You are my Comforter and Teacher, my very breath and life.
You dwell in me, love through me and walk with me through this life.
You make my soul a holy sanctuary and fill my darkness with Your Light.
Spirit of Christ, You change my heart and enable me to do the Father’s will.
Fill me to overflowing with Your love and power; I believe You will – today.

Blessed Trinity, we lift our eyes to meet Your loving gaze;
We raise our hands in adoration and submission to You.
We are ravished by the love we see in Your eyes.
We choose to believe it even though it seems too good to be true.
Oh eternal Lover of our souls, we adore You, we praise You, we glorify You.
All that we have, all that we are, is Yours forever.
We offer our hearts back to You who made us.
We are one with You, and wonder of wonders, You are one with us!

Friday Focus – September 29, 2017

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Cindy Johnson Returns to the Church Office

On the recommendation of the elders, the administrative committee has acted to name Cindy Johnson to a quarter-time position in the area of congregational care, beginning October 1. In addition to her own visits and contacts with the congregation she will be coordinating the work of several volunteers who are keeping in touch with folks facing medical events, personal needs, shut-ins, seniors and more. You can reach Cindy through the church office at 503-538-8381 or on her cell phone at 503-857-3581. Interim Pastor Dick Sartwell said of the appointment, “Those who know Cindy know her caring heart. We’ll all be blessed to have her help during this time of transition.”