Friday Focus – October 19, 2018

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from . . . Keith Reeser ~ Join me for a Treasure Hunt!

Have you ever been asked to go on or have been on a treasure hunt? There is so much excitement surrounding the hunt: Finding a clue, exploring places you’ve never seen, and meeting people along the journey. When you find the treasure, what an indescribable sense of accomplishment and joy! Interestingly, most of us build up enough adrenaline that we want to repeat the adventure again. Within each of us lies a deep longing to go on an adventure and find a treasure of great worth.

God made us to explore, to be learners, and to achieve great things along the way. Can you picture what it might be like to bring this type of exploration to your study of God’s Word? What if your time in our Sunday morning gathering was an exploration of your soul, while collecting clues to support your understanding of and relationship with Jesus. All of these reflections build toward a new series, “Searching for the Messiah.” This series will review the Old Testament prophecies and how Jesus fulfilled them as revealed in the New Testament. The planned expedition will lead us into the Advent Season and help us as we explore and investigate together. I encourage you to pray with the church body as well as pray for me that as we search various Bible passages, we will come away with a deeper understanding of the Scriptures and find our treasure in Jesus.

Friday Focus – October 12, 2018

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from . . . Ron Stansell ~ Please Pray for our Elders Retreat

Ephesians 6:18 tells us to “pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” In Colossians 4:3 Paul encourages his readers to pray for an “open door for our message so that we may proclaim . . . Christ.” In that spirit, please remember to pray for NFC elders and pastor this week and in weeks to come.
Many of you will read Friday Focus before the elders and our pastor gather for routine business and extended visioning and planning, which will lead to doing! We will meet Friday evening, October 12, and Saturday, October 13. Others will read this after the meeting but all can join us in longing for ears to hear God’s directions. The complex business of faithfulness in evangelism, nurture, and service takes great faith and dependency on the Holy Spirit.
How can you pray for our meeting? Pray for creativity, enthusiasm, and excitement that come from a vision of Christ and his kingdom. Pray for realistic “can do” plans that will bless our corner of the world. More than all else, ask God to move and shake us along with those who are without Christ and hope in the world.

Friday Focus – October 5, 2018

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“Sherry will write her own epitaph.” That’s what I wrote as a placeholder in the template for this week’s newsletter. For the record, Keith decided we would feature my retirement from the role of office administrator for the past 15 years. And let’s be clear—I haven’t died, which is good because I still need to return to the office to train Dianne for the many moving parts that will be her job come Monday morning!
My love for NFC goes back 24 years when I moved to Newberg from Michigan as Mauri’s mail-order bride. He had already been serving as pastor of worship ministries for 14 years, and I quickly became caught up in the life of our congregation. So when I read of a job opening in NFC Weekly, I said to Mauri, “I think I want to apply!” I had been self-employed for many years, so it was a leap of faith to take on a position that required my presence from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week! And then some!
Turned out, I easily embraced the new routine, have loved (nearly) every aspect of my job. God remained close to support me through the bumpy parts and allowed me to answer Yes! to the question Mauri asked at the end of each workday—”Did you finish strong?”
I caught the joy of blogging 12 years ago, and anyone who follows it has seen that much life can happen around a full-time job. If you’re interested, you could check out my post about last week’s team celebration and my final day.

Friday Focus – September 28, 2018

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After interviewing a number of qualified candidates, the administrative committee has hired Dianne Sargent as the office administrator for NFC.
Dianne comes to us from C.S. Lewis Academy after managing offices in a variety of fields, including health care, insurance, and financial firms. Along with the many talents she brings to the office, Dianne has experience in coordinating corporate events, creating newsletters, scheduling, and supervising multiple employees. She once was in charge of two New York offices simultaneously, in White Plains and Manhattan.
During the interview process, Dianne expressed the call she feels to use her gifts for the benefit of Northwest Yearly Meeting. A friend told her about the posting in Friday Focus, and she felt led to apply at NFC. Beyond her qualifications, we were impressed with her heart for service and the priority she placed on intentionally listening to God through this anticipated transition.
Dianne is a member of West Chehalem Friends Church but will transfer her membership to NFC and begin attending in order to be part of the congregation she will serve. She has spent a few days this last week getting acquainted with the NFC office. She will start full time on Monday, October 8.

Friday Focus – September 21, 2018

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Most of us occasionally ask ourselves: “What type of person am I? Who do I want to become?” or possibly “What do I want to do with my life?” When we strive to self-diagnose an issue or wonder about our chosen career path, we can miss the point entirely. To truly understand ourselves we must wrestle with difficult questions.
If we were to ask ten people to name the most important job in the world, we would hear ten different answers—and all of them could be right!

This has drawn me to ponder: If we are the church, the body of Christ, then what does it mean to live this out? Which calling, job, or position should I hope to attain?

I want us to know how to connect well with others in the church but, most important, in the real world. Over the next three Sundays we will identify who we are as the church. We will review the historical church and explore how the current church needs to teach and equip people to serve and minister in the current spiritual climate.

The Lord has placed each of us in this world to point others to Jesus. Plumber, musician, professor, student—we are all in this together. The “We Are the Church” series will draw us to Jesus and help us be his kingdom workers.

Friday Focus – September 14, 2018

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This coming Sunday we will welcome Joseph Clair to preach in morning worship. He serves as dean of the George Fox College of Christian Studies, liberal arts, and honors, and as an associate professor of theology. Before joining the George Fox faculty in 2013, he earned his PhD in the religion, ethics, and politics program at Princeton University. He also earned master’s degrees from Fordham and Duke University and a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College.

His research and teaching interests include Christian thought and ethics and the role of religion in public life. He is the author of Discerning the Good in the Letters and Sermons of Augustine and Reading Augustine: On Education, Formation, Citizenship, and the Lost Purpose of Learning.

Watch a short video of Joseph discussing the importance of reading great books and authors, and why you should read his own favorite great book, The Confessions  by Augustine. On Sunday he will teach from
John 6:56-69.

Friday Focus – September 7, 2018

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from . . . Keith Reeser, pastor

We hope you’ve caught the anticipation building for next Sunday’s worship service on the lawn. Please join us as we consider together a renewed vision for Sunday school.

You might be one who has never missed a Sunday school class. Perhaps you have yet to visit a Sunday school class! Or maybe you’ve tried but never found one to call “your” class. During Sunday’s outdoor service, leaders from every Sunday school class will briefly share the vision for their class, what they plan to study, and for whom the class is designed. Snack on donut holes, sip some coffee, and worship Jesus through singing. And everyone will be given an opportunity to sign up for Sunday school!

Thanks to John Rekow for making our signs! You can see our service begins at 10:30 a.m., as usual.

Friday Focus – August 31, 2018

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from . . . Megan Krober, M. Ed., Ambleside School principal

Ambleside of the Willamette Valley school was founded in Newberg in the fall of 2017 with 27 students and 13 families. It is the first Ambleside school west of Denver. Our school is a member school of Ambleside Schools International (ASI), an organization based on the educational methods of Charlotte Mason, who lived in the early twentieth century. Mason was an author, educator, and thinker who believed that children are created in the image of God, meaning they are limitless in their giftings and capacity to learn.
Through the Ambleside Method, students are trained to think and discuss ideas rather than complete a worksheet or a closed activity such as a fill in the blank or multiple choice. Our students engage mind to mind with great authors, composers, and thinkers from many generations. As they discuss, wrestle, and engage, these works inform them about what the author seeks to communicate, unlike a more traditional approach with the teacher at the center, telling them what to think, say, and do. In addition, all work is generated by the student, creating a truly authentic learning experience.
While students learn from the masters, we also allow time for the one true teacher, the Holy Spirit, to engage. We begin each day together in assembly with a time of quiet reflection; this allows us to start with a calm, reflective, and centered posture. At Ambleside, as much time is given to educating our students’ affections and heart formation as is spent on their academic growth. We are educating for the eulogy, not for the resumé or the next test or quiz. To this end, we believe who students are becoming is equal to what they know.
All of our teachers participate in intensive training provided through ASI and ongoing training throughout the year in which we read and discuss ideas centered around Mason’s method. This is a comprehensive approach to education where all are “twice blessed,” as Charlotte Mason would say, for both the teacher and student grow in tandem.
As a community, we are grateful to be here at Newberg Friends. We are humbled by the warm welcome and the care given to help us settle in. We look forward to seeing many of you around, hopefully at our weekly chapel on Wednesdays from 8 to 8:30 a.m., when we come together for hymns, student recitation, and the opportunity to hear from a guest speaker. This year, our theme is JOY!

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Friday Focus – August 24, 2018

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NFC women never had it so good! Thanks to the grand efforts of our facelift committee—Jess Ragsdale, Arnie and Barb Mitchell, Phyllis McKinney, Bob Holveck, Carice Tussing, and Holly Miele*—men and women have beautiful remodeled restrooms to visit when nature calls. But just look at this lovely space they created for the women! NFC men will just have to blame our forefathers for designating a smaller footprint for their necessities.
*. . .and the numberless workers who made this possible!

Please note: This project has not yet reached full completion,
so consider this a sneak peek of what is to come.

Friday Focus – August 17, 2018

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“But when you pray” is a simple statement that implies we are people of prayer. It also implies we are in a growing relationship with the Lord. Our prayer can’t be monitored or forced upon others, so we ask that you take on the privilege of prayer, not the burden, in going to the throne of God and making your requests known to him. We want you to be led to pray, to have joy and excitement about the ministry happening here. We humbly want our prayers to prompt others to know Jesus better and grow closer to him. God loves when his children pray. He hears our requests.

Would you consider joining in a season of prayer as a church body? Beginning on Saturday, September 1, and for the following 30 days we will send you an email each morning that will encourage and guide your prayer for specific ministries/people at NFC. If you would like to join us on this journey please click here to sign up. Let’s join together in prayer!

“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:5-6