Friday Focus is a newsletter for the Newberg Friends Church community distributed weekly through MailChimp. Subscribe here!
Prior to July 2017, our newsletter was named Your NFC. All the archived issues remain available, as you can see down the right-hand column!
Click HERE to read the entire February 23, 2018 issue.
from . . . Dave Woolsey
All in One Day
Isn’t it exciting when we get to sit back and watch God move! Sometimes he moves slowly and sometimes quickly. And sometimes he combines both time elements.
I visited recently with a retired friend who lives near our church. He’d had a stroke, and his wife was recovering from back surgery. It became clear his most critical need was firewood. Both he and his wife use walkers to navigate a home heated only by a wood stove. I called Hub Mardock, who said the wood ministry dump truck was already loaded and waiting to be used as a blessing to someone in need. In less than one hour John Hutchinson had the firewood on the ground at my friend’s house. Two volunteers quickly moved the wood right outside their back door. With great joy I explained to my friends and two curious neighbors that the NFC wood ministry has been a blessing to others for many years.
What I saw happen took less than an hour but represented many hours of hard work behind the scenes. A big thank you goes to all those “sawdusters” who have found, cut, split, loaded, and hauled wood in support of this ministry.
The wood ministry section of our church website says “People who heat with wood are warmed twice; once when they cut and stack the wood and again when they burn it.” Matthew 5:16 says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (NKJV). It’s a joy to also note that donated wood shines light twice—physical light and the light of Christ.
Click HERE to read the entire February 16, 2018 issue.
What’s going on here? Carl Anderson is training the AM coordinators on how to use the AED (a.k.a. defibrillator) as part of the responsibility they accepted in serving us at NFC. AM coordinators (pictured left to right) are Bob Holveck, Justin Hampton, (Carl), Jim Jackson, and Linda Sartwell, who oversees this group. They serve us on a rotation basis by tending to the multiple behind-the-scenes tasks that make Sunday mornings run smoothly. You might see them unlocking a door or taking Sunday school attendance or helping someone with the lift or distributing the morning handouts or pulling the window blinds on an extra sunny day. Always you will see him or her wearing a headset that connects them to the children’s classes throughout the morning. We hope to never see them using the AED! But you’ll agree it’s important for them to know what to do in the event one of us needs that kind of help.
If you’re curious about the job, Linda has openings for trainees who could serve as a backup from time to time. Here’s the job description. Contact Linda if you want to know more!
Click HERE to read the entire February 9, 2018 issue.
Last Saturday, more than 60 NFCers gathered around tables in the social hall (while childcare workers looked after 15 children in other rooms) to discuss and share their hopes for NFC’s future.
Throughout the morning each table of eight to ten individuals processed then shared their top three priorities for what ought to be the primary thrust of our ministry focus for the next few years.
Dave Tussing, a participant in the session, shared this reflection: “As I observed the room, it was clear people were deeply contemplating our situation, seeking God, and actively conversing about what they felt led to share. It was active, unscripted, and earnest dialogue.” Actually, that is only a snippet of his full reflection, so please CLICK HERE to read all of what Dave shared.
Click HERE to read the entire February 2, 2018 issue.
from . . . Dick Sartwell, interim pastor
February contains a few bright spots (like Presidents Day and Valentines Day), but for many people this short month isn’t short enough. Oregonians in the Willamette Valley understand that our frequent rains are the price we pay for lush vegetation and gorgeous flowering shrubs. But sometimes February feels like the low point of the year. We commonly let November trigger thankfulness, but I want to suggest we also use February to encourage our gratitude. Here’s a start:
I’m thankful for…
- The large number of volunteers who have stepped forward to help us do ministry together.
- The wonderful news from our stewards that for the first time in a few years we were able to approve a balanced budget without drawing on reserve funds. Your faithful giving enabled this.
- The large number of you who have made the effort to be involved in our all-church meetings to work at clarifying who we are as a church as we prepare for new leadership.
- The words of scripture that speak to our lives in powerful ways. This month in our morning services we’ll be looking at some great texts filled with encouragement.
Be aware in these weeks of what is encouraging you and thank the Lord for it!
Click HERE to read the entire January 26, 2018 issue.
“Who Do We Want to Become?”
All-Church Visioning Day
Saturday, February 3 • 9 a.m. through lunch
What is God’s specific plan for Newberg Friends Church for the next few years? We’ll work together at discerning the answer to that question when we gather for another all-church visioning day on Saturday, February 3. We’ll meet in the church social hall from 9 a.m. till noon and then share a soup lunch together. Through small-group and large-group discussions and times of prayer we’ll provide input for our elders as they seek to prepare a vision statement for Newberg Friends Church.
Every congregation of Christians around the world has as a starting point the Great Commission Jesus gave his followers (Matthew 28:19). But we’re a specific church with a history in a town that has specific strengths and weaknesses. How might God want to use us to impact our community … and beyond?
Do we really need to do this? If God has a will for us, how would we know that without asking him to reveal it to us? If pastoral candidates have an interest in knowing what we’re hearing from God, how should our search committee answer such questions?
Please be praying regularly about this challenge and come February 3 prepared to enter into a spiritual exercise that may well influence the future of our church.
Click HERE to read the entire January 19, 2018 issue.
This Sunday at 6 p.m. we’ll gather in the NFC sanctuary for the winter congregational meeting for worship and business. All who consider Newberg Friends Church their regular church home are welcome to attend. The agenda will include a couple of nominations and a treasurer’s report as well as the following special items for our consideration:
- A proposal to enter into a contract with Ambleside School for leasing five classrooms and office space beginning in September 2018. Representatives of the school will be present to answer questions.
- A proposed six-month budget for January through June. Copies will be available Sunday morning at the welcome center.
- A proposal from our local elders for a statement on human sexuality to be considered for approval. This statement is within the boundaries of the existing statement of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but attempts to “season” that statement for use by our own congregation, including the church’s website. The proposed statement may be found at this link.
Click HERE to read the entire January 12, 2018 issue.
Introducing “Lydia” . . .
Last Saturday sixty NFCers gathered to work at describing our church as a person. Dividing into seven groups, participants sought to create a persona they felt represented the character of Newberg Friends Church. Through probing discussions, prayer, and some laughter, they produced suggestions for our church persona. After each of the groups reported on their “person,” Julie Anderson, Marc Shelton, and Dick Sartwell were tasked with melding the profiles into one. And so…we introduce to you “Lydia,” also known as Newberg Friends Church.
Click HERE to read the entire January 5, 2018 issue.
It’s Here! The “Who Are We Now?” Gathering — Tomorrow!
Who is our church? Does that seem like a weird question? Have you ever described our church as a person? Likely not. But tomorrow morning, January 6, Dick Sartwell will lead us through a creative and fun exercise in trying to capture the reality of Newberg Friends Church by describing a metaphorical person. This is a “person” to whom we can introduce prospective pastoral candidates to help them understand us as a congregation. Then the search committee will lead us in an exercise in trying to describe “the pastor we want to find” for our congregation.
We hope you’ll be a part of helping NFC find the right “match” in a lead pastor. Show up tomorrow, 9 a.m. to noon, and enjoy a simple soup lunch afterward.
Click HERE to read the entire December 22, 2017 issue.
From . . . Carl Anderson, presiding clerk
Over the past few months the administrative committee, elders, and others have been very careful about deciding how our limited time and resources are put to use. We have laid down a few things but have kept many of our routines going. Sometimes, in the midst of everything else that is happening, an opportunity comes along that is too interesting to dismiss.
Newberg Friends Church has been approached by a new Christian school in Newberg about renting space for their classes. The leadership at Ambleside of the Willamette Valley expressed interest in using five or six rooms in our main building beginning in the fall of 2018. After discussing this opportunity, the administrative committee feels cautiously optimistic. This may be a way we can support another Christian organization and make good use of rooms that would otherwise sit empty during the week. Each NFC committee is carefully considering all factors to ensure a mutually beneficial outcome, i.e., theological fit, flexible room use, appropriate rental fees. Watch for a formal proposal in early January followed by a recommendation—based on your feedback—presented at the January 21 business meeting.
If you would like more information about the school, I invite you to read this linked letter from Ambleside Board Chair Chad Krober. At the bottom of the letter you’ll find links to their website (also linked above). If you have any questions or comments, send them to me or call me at 503-998-3906.
As always, we appreciate your prayers for discernment as we consider this opportunity.
Click HERE to read the entire December 15, 2017 issue.
Coming up! NFC Gathering on January 6, 2018
Who is our church? Does that seem like a weird question? Have you ever described our church as a person? Likely not. But on Saturday, January 6, Dick Sartwell will lead us through a creative and fun exercise in trying to capture the reality of Newberg Friends Church by describing a metaphorical person. This is a “person” to whom we can introduce prospective pastoral candidates to help them understand us as a congregation. Then the elders will lead us in an exercise in trying to describe “the pastor we want to find” for our congregation.
We hope you’ll be a part of helping NFC find the right “match” in a lead pastor. Mark your calendar for Saturday, January 6, 9 a.m. to noon, with a soup lunch to follow.