Holy Land Pilgrimage 2020

I invite you to join me on a trip-of-a-lifetime to the Holy Land. Our church family along with other guests will visit Israel from October 13-23, 2020.

Holy Land 2019Biblical scholars call Israel The Fifth Gospel because geography so shapes the story of Scripture. Travel brings the Bible to life as pilgrims literally walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

I have traveled to Israel several times in the past, and each journey has transformed my understanding of the Christian faith. Indelible memories continue to mold my life and ministry. I look forward to the next trip with members from my Northside Church family.

The eleven-day trip will visit  many Old and New Testament sites , including destinations not typically covered in a standard tour. The inclusive pricing includes first class hotels, deluxe motor coaches, guided tours, airfare, and much more.

For additional information, visit this link to see the full brochure that contains all of the details: www.NorthsideUMC.org/holyland. You can also contact Maggie Bridges at MaggieB@NorthsideUMC.org.

We will have two, no-obligation interest meetings this week on Wednesday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 15 at 12:15 p.m. Both will occur in the Board Room of Northside United Methodist Church. General information and brochures will be available along with a time of questions and answers.

A traditional Passover toast during the Seder meal is, “Next year in Jerusalem!” In 2020, we have the opportunity to make this prayer a reality.

Wednesday Night Suppers

Wednesday night suppers have been a church staple for decades in the American church. They provide a weekly opportunity for food, fellowship, music, and discipleship.

WNS

Modern culture challenges the time-honored institution, however. Midweek services compete with busy schedules, sports’ schedules, school activities, class homework, and gridlocked traffic. In the face of societal pressures, many churches have cancelled Wednesday night suppers.

However, two years ago Northside Church made a renewed commitment to our midweek activities. In addition to a delicious meal, the church provides rich opportunities for children, youth, and adults. We have celebrated growth in both numbers and Spirit.

In the Gospels, Jesus did some of his best work around the dinner table with friends and followers. Some of Christ’s most memorable words and deeds occurred with food and drink.

I invite you to join the counter-cultural revolution at Northside Church. Join us for Wednesday night supper and enjoy food not only for the body but also for the soul.

It’s a good thing.

Story Teller

Our back-to-school worship series at Northside Church is entitled Story Teller. During August and September, we are exploring eight parables told by Jesus in Luke’s Gospel.

ParablesParable comes from the Greek word parabole which means to cast alongside or to place beside. Parables are stories that include comparisons, contrasts, exaggerations, illustrations, analogies, similes, and metaphors.

One classic definition declares: A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus’ parables give human insight into God’s kingdom.These ordinary stories reveal extraordinary truths.

The Gospel parables are also insidious. They seem plain enough. After listening Jesus’ words, the listener concludes: “Oh, well, the moral of the story is                        .”

Yet it’s not that simple. Parables are multilayered and multidimensional. There are always new depths to plumb. They cast fishhooks into our minds, tugging at our thoughts and catching our imaginations. We wake up in the middle of the night, exclaiming: “OH, THAT’S what Jesus meant!”

However, there is a richness to Christ’s parables that cannot be plumbed. We read the same story years later and discover new and unexpected truths.

Parables are also dangerous. They slip past our defenses and through the backdoor of our minds, inviting us to change and challenging us to act.

So we’re invited on Sundays to sit at the feet of the Master Storyteller and ask: “Jesus, will you tell us a story?”

Three Simple Rules: By Attending upon All the Ordinances of God

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, crafted three simple guides for Christian living. In Methodism, they became known as The General Rules.

The Third Rule states: “By Attending upon All the Ordinances of God.” Wesley understood the ordinances of God to be spiritual disciplines that all disciples should keep—practices that keep the relationship between God and humans vital, alive, and growing.

These “means of grace” enable us to grow in the Christian faith. Wesley mentioned six ordinances specifically, including:

  • The public worship of God.
  • The ministry of the Word, either read or expounded.
  • The Supper of the Lord.
  • Family and private prayer.
  • Searching the Scriptures.
  • Fasting or abstinence.

The six ordinances listed by Wesley are NOT exhaustive; however, these spiritual practices are vital to our spiritual health.

Stay in love with God

In his book entitled Three Simple Rules, Bishop Reuben Job offered a contemporary paraphrase of the Third Rule: “Stay in love with God.” These means of grace enable us to nurture a lifelong relationship with the one who loves us first and loves us best.

Attend upon all the ordinances of God so that your love of the Lord survives and thrives.