Welcome to Northminster

We are a biblically-based Presbyterian church seeking to experience and share God’s love to transform our homes, community and the world. We hope you will join us.
 

Join us this Sunday!

We have wonderful Sunday School opportunities for all ages at 9:45am. Our worship service is at 11am. We look forward to seeing you!  Click here to find out where we are and get in touch.

Upcoming Events

 

The Latest from our blogs…

New Sunday School Opportunity – Beginning Sunday, January 27

Let me be up front: If you aren’t already attending a Sunday School class at Northminster, we’re inviting you (and your kids) to come to Sunday school.  I suppose it’s kind of obvious that a pastor would make that request, but there’s more to it than that.. Let me explain.
 
I think most of us would agree that our faith is important to us, but when push comes to shove, we (yep, even me) tend to let the hustle-and-bustle of life crowd out the rhythms and practices of our faith. Before we know it, while still important, our faith has been moved to the back seat.
 
Jesus says in John 10:10 that he came so we might “have more and better life than we’ve ever dreamed of.” Being in the back seat of our life likely isn’t what he had in mind. And I think most of us would agree that while our lives might not be terrible, they probably aren’t exactly “more and better than we’ve ever dreamed” either.
 
Here are some things I know, mostly from what I’ve experienced in my own life:
  • The closer I walk with Jesus, the closer I come to that “more and better life.”
  • The more time I spend in God’s Word, the more grounded I am.
  • The more I connect with other believers, the more hope I have.
 
I also know that, as parents, we want to pass on a faith to our children that is meaningful and valuable to them. Along those lines, I also know (again, from my own experience, but also from 20+ years of youth ministry) that there are three key components to passing the faith to our children effectively. They are:
  • Teaching the full gospel of Jesus Christ (more than just “sin management” or whatnot),
  • Parents being the primary ministers to their own children (don’t let this scare you), and
  • Building as many intergenerational connections into kids lives as possible.
 
All of the above is why I’m inviting you to come to Sunday school. Beginning January 6, from 9:45-10:30, I’ll be teaching a new class that will meet in the Tatman Room. But actually, I would think of this as more of a “small group” type thing than “Sunday school.” There will be more discussion than lecture, more questions than dissertation. It’s an opportunity for us to dig into God’s Word together, to understand what it meant back then so we can better understand what it means right now, and to apply it to the nitty-gritty of our lives right now. The better we know God’s Word, the more we will know and live the Gospel, the easier it’ll be to share our faith with our kids through our lives.  We’ll be starting out studying Paul’s letter to the Romans.
 
And that intergenerational part? Well, we happen to have a whole lot of folks in this church who would love the opportunity to love your kids in Jesus’ name. While we’re growing as disciples together, your kids will be being taught the Gospel as well and building those intergenerational relationships I mentioned a moment ago.
 
I know for many of you, Sunday morning is one of the few, precious opportunities you have to sleep in. I also know that getting the kids out the door to be at church by 9:45 can be a hassle. My intent is to make this class, as well as your children’s classes, worth the effort to be here.
 
I hope you’ll join us Sundays at 9:45 in the Tatman Room.

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Pastor’s Corner – January 2019

Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Tim. 4:7–8 ESV)
 

What’s Your Resolution?

 
This is the time of year that gyms and diet programs love, because we all seek to take advantage of the new year and the “fresh start” it provides. Year after year, at the top of the list sits resolutions to get healthier and lose weight. We know we need to take care of our bodies, that we just spent a month (or more) overeating and indulging, and that summer is just a few months away. Taking care of our physical health is important, and I applaud you if you’ve made such a resolution. But as Paul says in the passage above, are we as equally resolved regarding our spiritual health and well-being?
 

Lord, Teach Us To Pray

 
Just as with physical health, our spiritual health takes intentionality and commitment, and it begins with prayer. Prayer is a funny thing — most everyone has prayed at some point in time since they were a little child, and yet it’s also the one thing I hear that people struggle with more than most anything else. In fact, at one point even the disciples had to ask Jesus to teach them to pray: Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1 ESV)
 

Praying Like Jesus

We’re going to be intentional in learning to pray like Jesus prayed. On Sunday mornings through the course of the season of Epiphany, we’ll dig deeply into The Lord’s Prayer – a prayer we all say every Sunday, but many of us don’t fully understand what we’re saying about or asking of God. Then, through Lent and leading up to Easter, we’ll explore the prayer book of the Hebrews, the Psalms, and find guidance for some of the problem areas of prayer.
 
If you, like the disciples (and most of us if we’re honest), are looking for someone to teach you to pray, or maybe you could use some encouragement in your prayer life, I hope you’ll join us. May God bless you in this new year!
Blessings, Rev. David Garrison

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Pastor’s Corner – December 2018

Consumed by Consuming

I received my first email announcing Black Friday, the annual celebration of greed and gluttony that defines the day after Thanksgiving (a day of gratitude for all God has provided for us), on November 2. Not only that, but the email announced that the Black Friday deals were available NOW! Of course, for years the stores have been opening on Thanksgiving to offer Black Friday “doorbuster” sales (full confession: I went shopping on Thanksgiving to get one of those deals). The mentality that comes from shopping for the best deal leads to two consequences. First, we live in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction and discontent. Second, we apply the consumer mindset to other areas of life – we just keep looking for the best “deal” that will better meet our “needs.” We are a consumer-based culture. And we are being consumed by it. One might say we are literally selling our souls to satisfy our consuming.
 

A Prescription for A Better Way

There are times when something happens to our bodies, maybe a deep-set illness is discovered, and the doctor issues us a prescription for medicine to help return us to physical health. It often doesn’t happen overnight, but through faithfully following the prescription, over time we begin to notice a difference and feel better. Eventually, we are restored to full health. The prescription to our rampant consumerism is the Christian season of Advent. Advent comes from a Latin word that means “coming.” It is a 4-week season that leads up to Christmas and is meant to be a time of intentional reflection and preparation for the coming of the Messiah – both celebrating his first Advent 2,000 years ago, and hopefully anticipating his second coming. The giving of gifts (started by the Magi that first Christmas) is a good tradition, but this one aspect has taken over the entire season.
 
There are rituals and traditions surrounding our celebrations of Advent and Christmas. Some of those are particular to our families, others are more broadly practiced by churches or communities. Many of them have their roots in centuries past, or maybe they are new traditions only a few years old. The rituals of putting up and decorating the Christmas tree, of lighting the Advent candles (both in worship and at home as a family), of going caroling are all great ways to slow down this holiday (holy-day) season. Consider other activities and start new traditions that your family (both nuclear and extended) can practice and celebrate each year to move us deeper in our understanding of what this season is supposed to be about and find ourselves moving away from consuming and toward joy and contentment in Christ.
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:11–13)
 
Blessings,
Rev. David Garrison

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December Table Talk Series: Aspects of Advent

Our December Table Talk series will be “Aspects of Advent.” There is a lot of nuance and “hidden” depths to the Advent and Christmas stories that we miss because the biblical authors assumed certain cultural, historical and prophetic knowledge that has been lost in the 2,000 years since the stories were recorded. Michael Babcock and Pastor David will explore several of these different facets in an effort to enrich and deepen our understanding and celebration of the incarnation of our Savior. Upcoming topics include:
November 28: Fulfilling Prophecy – Dr. Michael Babcock
December 5: Politics of the Times – Rev. David Garrison
December 12: No Room in the Inn – Rev. David Garrison
December 19: Questioning Christmas – Dr. Michael Babcock
December 26 & January 2: No Table Talk

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Pastor’s Corner – November 2018

The End of the Year Is Upon Us

The end of the year is here! Perhaps you’re wondering if I mixed my months up – a distinct possibility! But no, I’m just looking at a different calendar. While the Gregorian calendar (the one we use on a daily basis) has two months left, the Christian calendar is drawing to a close.
 

The Spiritual Celebration of The King

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
Toward the end of this month the longest season of the Christian Calendar (called “Ordinary Time”) comes to a close. Ordinary Time is a season devoted to giving space to consider all the implications of God’s salvation in Jesus Christ for our day by day, week-in, week-out lives. But as the season moves on, and the chaos of the world presses in, we can begin to wonder if God is even at work any more. And so Ordinary Time ends with Christ the King Sunday (this year, November 25), the last Sunday before Advent and a reminder that Jesus is king, that all the world is subject to him, that the Kingdom of God is already at hand, and that one day soon He will come back to consummate His kingdom and His rule. The world may seem to be spiraling into chaos, but Jesus is still sovereign and holds it all in His hands. We may not understand much of what is happening, but we can trust that Jesus does.
 

A Secular Season of Gratitude

But what fascinates me about these calendars is how the Spirit moves in both sacred and secular seasons. I don’t imagine that those who suggested we celebrate Thanksgiving in November did so with any thought for the Christian calendar, but there are few ways better to celebrate the end of the Christian year than by focusing on being grateful for the kingship of Jesus Christ as well as for all that we have and are. Perhaps that’s one of the problems with the rampant anger and angst in our culture today – we focus too much on our discontent and not enough on being grateful for what God has provided for us. As Paul writes to the Colossians:
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)
 
May God bless each of us as we celebrate not just all we have to be grateful for, but also that ultimately we can be thankful because Jesus is King and we can trust in Him!
 
Blessings,
Rev. David Garrison

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Stephanie Black October 2018 Update: Namaste from Ireland!

Stephanie Black is a missionary we support through EPC World Outreach and Serge.  She is truly a world-wise missionary, serving in Ireland, South Asia and Africa at various times throughout the year.
 
In her October update, she shares her experiences and work in South Asia, Greece, Kenya, Prague and many other places.  Her update is also full of pictures and prayer requests.
 
You can find the update here.  Should you choose, you can also subscribe to her e-newletter at that link as well.

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October 7 Update from Susan May and the Burundi Hope Project

Much has been happening since I wrote last.  I did not go to Gitega with a bus and pick up all of my children but we are working on some alternative solutions! I was able to meet with the Sewing Center  on Wednesday and was blessed by their fellowship. They were able to update me not only on their progress with the sewing center projects but also what was happening in their personal lives. One of the women’s home was broken into in the middle of the night and anything she had was stolen including her personal sewing machine.  She has 6 children and her husband has no regular job sew the income from the Sewing Center and her personal customers is how they support the family. Please pray for Consolatte. These women have become a special part of my life in Burundi. They are being creative in how to expand the sewing center business and will be working on some samples for others to see. I will keep you informed.

I traveled to the Rumonge region for a Women of Hope Seminar. It is a drive down the lake road. I always enjoy going along the lake but not the bad roads. The women represented 5 churches. 3 of them are going through a healing process due to some church challenges and were encouraged by the teachings and the fellowship of believers.
 
Thanks for prayers!
IMANA NI NZIZA!
” God is so Good!”
 
Susan May
Burundi, Africa
 
I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way” Psalm 139:14 ICB 
 

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School Supply Collection

We’re close to two months into the school year, but there are many children that still don’t have basic and essential school supplies.  Over the next few weeks we are collecting supplies for our local elementary schools to give to their students who otherwise would go without.  Here are a few items students need daily:
  • Backpacks (currently 50% off at Target)
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Paper
  • Folders
  • Markers
The next time you head to Walmart or Target, pick up some of these supplies.  You may leave your donations in the church foyer where you will see the Mission/Outreach/Evangelism display.  Thank you in advance!

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Crumrine Update – October 2018

Keith and Deana Crumrine and their family are missionaries in Papua New Guinea that we support.  Keith is John and Lorraine Ledden’s grandson. You can find this update (and past updates) on the web here, where you can also subscribe to their e-newsletter if you’d like.
 
October 1, 2018
Dear Friends,
Greeting from PNG! We are excited to share with you how God has been at work this past month! Thank you to all of you who have been praying. I will try and update you thoroughly.
 
~MINISTRY:
YOUTH CAMP: On September 15th we had the chance to take our youth to another missionaries place for a week long youth camp. Around twenty teens had the opportunity to go and hear the gospel presented. Teens came from literally all over PNG to hear from Christ! Some kids walked over FIVE days to come to camp! It was amazing to see what they would go through to hear from God! There were roughly 1,500 campers plus leaders! It was so awesome to see God work in hearts! The missionaries said in all the years they have done this camp they have never seen anything like this! The missionaries specifically asked the counselors not to just pray with the kids but make sure they fully understood repentance and knew that they were making a decision to follow Christ…NOT just say a prayer! On the last night we fed 2,000 people. The teens were singing till 11pm and being counseled till 2am! Thanks to the prayers of many of you six teen girls from our church excepted Christ as Savior and one teen guy. It was so awesome to see God work in the youths lives and see how this changed their lives! The Sunday after we asked them to give their testimonies or come tell us personally about how God worked on their lives. These seven stood up in church to give their testimonies and some told how God showed them areas of their lives they needed to get right. Thank you all for your prayers for our teens this past month! God has definitely been at work and we believe his name is being glorified! Please continue to pray for these youth that God would grow them in their Christian lives and strengthen them as many have unsaved parents. These new Christian youth have come faithfully to church services, church work days, and are the first ones willing to help with anything! We are so thankful we had this opportunity. It was clearly the Spirit of God who met with us! It was such a blessing and encouragement!
 
SHARING CHRIST’S LOVE: The first Sunday of this month we had the chance to go to Taveo, one of the former fighting houselines. We took about eight church members and food to give to these people. Since it had been so rainy it was impossible to reach this village by road…..so we all hiked by foot through the bush to share Christ’s love with these people!! We sang/played music with the violin and guitar, dad preached, and I took care of quite a few medical needs, then we left the food for them to distribute. Although we had a long treacherous hike to get to this village it was worth every single minute! Please pray for Taveo….God has to be the one to do the work in their lives! It was a neat opportunity and a blessing to help these people!
 
COMMUNITY DINNER: This past Sunday we had another community/outreach dinner. Through the last one we have seen much fruit and are praying God will use this one mightily also! For the morning service we were encouraged to see roughly five new faces! The gospel was clearly presented and a few men told dad that it was a really convicting and strong message. For the dinner we served close to 200 people and we had around TWENTY-FIVE visitors for this! For the second service all 25 didn’t stay but it was a encouragement and a huge blessing that they even came!! The second service took place inside our house with roughly 12 visitors present. The gospel was again presented. Thank you for all you who have prayed for this! God is working in the hearts of many! It was SO exciting to see people who we have been praying for many YEARS come!! Please pray that God will touch the hearts of these people and that they would realize their need of Christ!
 
SPECIFIC PRAISE: Their is a man named Jackson who we have asked prayer for before and have been praying for many years. A little bit ago he came a couple weeks in a row to our fellowship nights in a hut on Thursdays. We were surprised but super excited since we have been really praying for God to work on him! Last Wednesday we had the chance to go talk with him and invite him to the Sunday dinner. Well first off he said he would be there….a huge answer to prayer! He said God has been really working on him and he knows he needs to come to church and get saved….he was very honest with us and made it perfectly clear he has NOT excepted Christ into his life yet or asked forgiveness….just knows he needs to! This is a step in the right direction! We are all SO excited! That night for Wednesday night…..prayer meeting he showed up!! Also he attended our Thursday night fellowship and Sunday for both services! It is such a huge encouragement and blessing seeing this man come to church after so many have prayed for him for so long….including the Childs, the church members here, as well as many of you. Please pray that God would continue to work on him and continue to convict him!
 
MARKET OUTREACH: Today dad and I had the opportunity to go to our local market. We played some music on the violin and guitar, dad preached, then we passed out gospel tracts. Please pray that many would come to Christ through this. Several “religious” groups are present for this. Please pray that God would show them that they can’t get to heaven by works only by the blood of Jesus Christ! Please pray for dad as each Monday morning he will be preaching.
 
~SPECIFIC PRAYER REQUESTS: That the spirit of God would continue to work and more would get saved. Taveo and Karafa houselines. That God would work in the hearts of the new believers. Market ministry. Thursday and Saturday fellowships Wisdom about starting a carpentry school or not…another opportunity to share Christ! Continue to pray with us that God would supply the remaining support needed…we praise Him for what has been supplied!
 
~PRAISES: That seven souls came to Christ this past month! That we had so many visitors last Sunday! That so many new people have been coming faithfully to church! The man that took brother Ben to court over the land dispute came to Christ and has apologized for all the trouble he has made!
 
Thank you all so much for praying faithfully and for your support! Hope this is a encouragement to you all as it has been to us. Our God is awesome!
 
In Christ,
The Crumrines
Proverbs 3:5-6

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Andrew Brunson Prayer Update

Andrew Brunson’s trial resumes next Friday, October 12.  In preparation for that, we have gathered the following resources for you.
 
The first is a blog by Rev. Bill Campbell who was in the courtroom with Andrew at his trial last July.  This provides not only first-hand insight into what it’s like in the courtroom, but also how things are for Christians throughout Turkey.
 
This is the first 13 days of a 31 day prayer initiative.  The second half will be published once the outcome of his trial on October 12 is made known.  These are short, daily prayers you can easily add to your daily quiet time routine or at any point throughout your day.  Paper copies were made available last Sunday and are still available to pick up at church.
 
In an effort to stand with and pray for the entire Brunson family, the EPC is issuing a Call to Prayer and Fasting for the week of October 8.  We will make these available as a bulletin insert on Sunday, October 7.
 
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for Andrew.  May his faithfulness in spite of the adversity he’s faced encourage you in your walk with the Lord as well!

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Pastor’s Corner – October 2018

What’s in a logo?

 
Now that our logo is prominently displayed on the front of the church, I’ve found myself thinking about it every day as I arrive. A good logo is simple and evocative, easy to recognize and remember, but bringing to mind multiple layers of images and meanings as you study it. Our logo accomplishes both of these things very well.
 

In the Beginning was the Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. — John 1:1–4
The first thing your eye catches is the open Bible, at the bottom of the image. Visually we are reminded that the Word of God is our beginning and our foundation. All of what we believe and know is grounded in and flows out of the Bible. But a closed book doesn’t do any good. It needs to be opened and read in order for the words within to bring life and light. And of course, as the passage from John implies, the image of the Bible in the logo points to the Word of God, and that Word of God is Jesus Christ. But these aren’t just old, stagnant, dead words, Hebrews 4:12 reminds us that the Word of God is “living and active.” What is it that keeps the Word of God alive today?
 

The Spirit Gives Life

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. — John 6:63
The eye naturally moves upward from the open Bible and sees the dove, with wings spread, rising out of the center. The dove has long been a visual representation of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 3:21-22), and as it prepares to take flight it gives the image of being alive and free. Being centered in the Word, the dove also reminds us that the Spirit is the seal of our salvation and our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14). And as the Spirit fills the Word, so also it fills us. The Holy Spirit gives life to believers and empowers us to take the Word of God into the world through our actions and our words.
 
May God bless each of us as we seek to be a community of faith that are “hearers and doers” of the Word (James 1:22) and “strengthened with power through his Spirit” (Ephesians 3:16) to serve others in Christ’s name!
 
Blessings, Rev. David Garrison

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Burundi School Uniforms

You might recall that last spring we did a fundraiser to help purchase new uniforms for the Burundi Hope Project.  Susan May passed along these pictures of the students wearing the uniforms you helped provide!  Thank you for your generosity and contribution to making an impact for the Kingdom of God around the globe!
 

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Paul & Reinhild Sydnor Update September 2018

MINISTRY

In August, I was in the States for our organisational meetings. We had a full summer of ministry. Two highlights of ministry were the youth camp and a music workshop. I created a short video about each of those which you can find at the following links.

 

PRAY for REINHILD

  For the past six weeks Reinhild has been suffering from the Trigeminal Neuralgia nerve disorder. This causes excruciating attacks of pain in her face. (Click here for more Info.) She has constant itching all over her body from the side-effects of the medicine. She can’t speak and can’t sleep more than a few hours at a time. She can only eat a few spoonfuls of liquid each day and she has lost a lot of weight.
 
The neurologist increased the medication (Tegretol) to 800 mg today and said that if the pain does not break by Monday then he will hospitalise her in order to treat her further for the pain. He will also schedule her for an MRI as soon as possible.
 
She went to visit her Mom while I was in the States and is still there. This has been a blessing. The house is quiet and her mom takes care of her like no one else could. There is no stress from the routine of daily life and ministry. I’ll see her again at the end of next week. You can write her at: Reinhild.Sydnor@gmail.com
 
With each week, she has expected that it will eventually pass. But now after six weeks she is really tired.
 
I have kept up with various ministry efforts and have not been there with her. We send messages via Skype each day. If I were there, she would have the stress of meals and activities she can’t do and one more person to communicate with –which is stressful. Still, it is hard to be separated and to see there is nothing that helps.
 
So we are calling on God’s help everyday and ask for your prayers too.
 
Paul for Reinhild
 
Organization & Financial Details
International Association for Refugees
P.O. Box 1405
Wheaton, IL 60187-1405 USA
 
If you would like to make a donation to our ministry you can donate online here.
Or, write a check to IAFR for “the Sydnors” and mail it to the address above.
 
IAFR
Tel: 612.200.0321
Email: info@iafr.org

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Pastor’s Corner – September 2018

For [the sacraments] are visible signs and seals of an inward and invisible thing, by means whereof God worketh in us by the power of the Holy Ghost.
– Belgic Confession Article 33
 

A New Sign…

Have you noticed there’s a new sign on the front of the church? It’s kind of hard to miss.

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Table Talk Resumes Wednesday, September 19

This fall, we’ll launch our Wednesday evening Table Talk by concluding our series of studies Christian Faith and Other Faiths: Understanding and Outreach. We’ll begin with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), more popularly known as the Mormons. We’ll look first at the founding and the growth of the LDS. Then, following the pattern of our previous studies, we’ll look at points of contact and points of conflict between the LDS and historic Christianity. We’ll follow a similar outline in exploring the history, theology, and practices of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
 
If you’ve ever wondered about either of these faiths – what they believe, why they are so persistent about coming to your door, or how to engage them in conversation – bring your questions and join us Wednesday evenings, beginning at 5:30 PM.
 
Click here to learn more about Table Talk.

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Church Picnic – Sunday, September 23 @ 5PM

Annual Church Picnic

Sunday, Sept. 23, beginning at 5PM

 
We’ll eat at tables under the big tent in the backyard of the church by the shade trees. There will be games for kids of all ages, great food and live bluegrass music provided by the talented Moore family, featuring Axn Jxn! The church will provide hamburgers and hot dogs cooked on the grill, beverages, buns and condiments. All who attend are asked to bring their favorite picnic dish to share. This is a great opportunity to invite extended family, former members, or someone looking for a church family, and let them experience what a
fun group your NEPC family is! In case of inclement weather, picnic will be moved inside to the fellowship hall. Please contact the church office or see the  sign up sheet outside the sanctuary to reserve your seat(s).

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