Neighbors Helping Neighbors Community Meal – November 26, 4:30-7pm

Neighbors Helping Neighbors will start having a FREE evening meal (5:00-7:00) on Tuesdays beginning in November.  They are looking for volunteers.  We would bring the food already prepared and then warm it up upon arrival.  Jimmy Price has opened his building located on route 29, near Dixie Airport Road, for this purpose.  We (MOE committee) invited Garry Friend to speak at Northminster and explain in detail what would be expected of an organization willing to help. 

We have agreed to serve one meal, on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, November 26.   We will serve about 50 people – about the size of a church covered-dish meal.  This may be the only Thanksgiving dinner for our guests.  

NHN provides plates, napkins, cups and eating utensil and they clean up.   

The menu is listed here: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, rolls and butter, cranberry salad, pie and whipped cream, coffee, sweet tea, and water. 

We need people to serve, greet, cook, pray, and help with a little clean up.  (Donations are helpful as well.)
 
Update from Sunday, November 24 Bulletin:
Thank you to everyone helping with the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Evening Meal on Tuesday, November 26th
Just a few last minute items:
If you are making food be sure to deliver to Jimmy Price’s building no later then 4:30 (4:15 would be better). We start serving at 5:00 p.m.
If you are dropping off your food at NEPC or are unsure of the location and want car pool please let me know or see Vonnie.
Find your NEPC tee shirt and wear so our guest will know who to ask for help or seconds.
Please be in prayer for those coming for dinner.
Thank you
 
Update from Sunday, November 17 Bulletin:
MEAL FOR NHN ON TUES NOV 26:
Northminster is serving a meal on Tuesday, November 26 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. We need to be at the Jimmy Price’s building around 4:30 p.m. to pray and see where we will be serving. Please wear your NEPC tee shirt. See Judy Reyburn if you need one.
  • We still need volunteers to serve the meal
  • Kitchen volunteers to dish up the plates
  • Cooks
      • 2 more turkeys
      • Rolls and butter
      • Drinks (sweet tea, lemonade, water)
      • Pie and whipped cream
      • Cranberry salad
  • Light clean-up
 

Please contact Judy Reyburn if you can help prepare and serve food, or if you can prepare food but cannot attend the meal.  

Missions, Evangelism, Outreach Committee


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Operation Christmas Child 2019 is Underway!

The Sunday School classes will be taking up items for our shoeboxes through Sunday, November 17.  We will put together as many shoeboxes as we can during SS on November 17.  However, we will continue to put boxes together during that week should we have more items come in later.
 
Operation Christmas Child suggests that we have one WOW item per box such as a doll, a stuffed animal, an outfit of clothes, a small musical instrument, or a backpack.  Our boxes are divided by gender and the following age groups:  2 – 4, 5 – 9, 10 – 14.
 
Some suggested items are: combs, hairbrushes, chapstick, bandages, toothbrush, watch, packaged soap, washcloth, stick deodorant, reusable plastic containers (cups, plates, bowls), blunt edged utensils, blanket, nail clipper, finger nail file, shirts/pants, loose fitting sundress, underwear, shoes, socks, flip-flops, hat, scarf, mittens, sunglasses, tote bag/purse, hair bows, pencils, manual pencil sharpener, colored pencils, pencil case, crayons, markers, pens, ruler, scissors, coloring pads/books, picture books, notebooks, glue sticks, tape, water color set, play doh with plastic cookie cutters, sewing kit, stickers, chalkboard and chalk, jump rope, foam ball, finger puppets, slinky, etch a sketch, yo-yo, marbles, costume jewelry, small Frisbee, small kite, solar powered calculator, puzzles, binoculars, plastic tools, plastic dinosaurs, small cars/trucks/boats, flashlight (if battery powered – an extra set of batteries), and compact mirror.
 
The things that are not allowed in the shoeboxes are as follows:  candy, toothpaste, gum, used or damaged items, war-related items such as toy guns, knives, or military figures, chocolate or food, seeds, fruit rolls or other fruit snacks, drink mixes (powdered or liquid), liquids or lotions, medications or vitamins, breakable items such as snow globes, or glass containers, and aerosol cans.
Please bring any donations to church by Sunday, November 17. There will be a collection bin in the church foyer for your donations. If you choose to pack your own shoebox, please bring it to church that Sunday morning as well.
 
If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Bryant.

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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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Pastor’s Corner – May 2018

After the Storm

Storms are used in fascinating ways in Scripture.  Take a look at Genesis 6-9 (Noah’s flood), Psalm 18, and Matthew 8:23-27 (Jesus calms the storm) for a couple of good examples.  But my favorite “storm story” is in 1 Kings 19.  Elijah has just won a powerful victory over the prophets of Ba’al, but ends up fleeing for his life as Jezebel and Ahab seek vengeance.  He hides in a cave on Mount Horeb (also known as Mount Sinai), and God tells him, Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”  What happens next is incredible:

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. (1 Kings 19:11–13)

I think most of us would assume that God would’ve been in the storm, the earthquake or the fire.  But He wasn’t.  God was in the stillness and quiet that came after the storm.  The same is true with the story of the flood – the rainbow came after the waters receded.  And when Jesus calmed the waters?  That’s when the disciples fell down in worship.

“What are you doing here?”

That’s the question God asked Elijah in the silence after the storm.  Through your tireless acts of love and support, God’s presence after the storm has been made real.  I have been overwhelmed with the incredible response of our community in the weeks that have followed the tornado in Elon and Lynchburg.  You have answered God’s question to Elijah with your actions – by faithfully living what Paul calls us to in Galatians 5:  Serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Gal 5:13–14)  The cleanup work for those affected has just begun and will continue long after the tornado has left the news cycle.  May we continue to be God’s hands and feet as we pray without ceasing, give as we are able, and serve as the opportunity presents itself.  You can find some helpful suggestions and guides on our website at www.npcmh.com/blog. 

Blessings,

Rev. David Garrison


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How To Support the Recovery Efforts Going Forward

According to a press release from Amherst County, 126 homes have minor damage, 25 are restricted use and 22 are destroyed.  That means at least 47 families are displaced until their homes are repaired or rebuilt.  The recovery needs for these families will be ongoing, long after this event moves out of the news cycle. And many of those in the path of the tornado, whether their home was destroyed or not, are dealing with wounds and hurts that go beyond physical.  So what can we do to support our neighbors and friends in the weeks and months to come?
 

Pray

Make praying for those affected a regular part of your prayer routine. Include in your prayers the contractors and builders, insurance adjusters, police, fire and medical first responders who have and are continuing to step in to help these families rebuild their lives. Here are some practical steps and prayers in the weeks and months to come:
  • Pray for healing.  While certainly praying for physical healing, also pray for emotional and mental healing.  Continue to praise God that no one lost their life, and ask Him to rest His hand of healing on those who need it.  The emotional and mental scars can last far longer than the physical ones, which leads to…
  • Pray for rest.  This might sound trivial, but many of these people, particularly the children but also the adults, could well be having a hard time sleeping.  Nightmares, stress, the internal need to keep working on cleanup, and especially post traumatic stress can negatively impact sleep.  Pray for God’s peace to settle over those trying to piece their lives back together when they sleep.
  • Pray for a smooth process.  Working with insurance companies, contractors, government aid agencies is a difficult and time-consuming process.  It can be its own layer of stress on top of an already stressful and traumatic event.  Pray that God would smooth out the process and that there wouldn’t be any hiccups for these folks.
  • Pray for moments of normalcy:  In the midst of the aftermath of a traumatic event like this, it can feel as if “normal” is a word that will never be used again.  Pray for moments of “normal” for these families and people, That might come in a meal taken as family at a restaurant, to even the regular routine of work and school, or maybe even just going to the store to buy groceries.  A moment of “normal” can go a long way in helping the healing and recovery process.
  • Set a reminder.  Put a reminder in your phone to repeat once a week, and maybe another one in a month or two, to remind you to continuing praying for their recovery.
 

Give

Many have given sacrificially already, but there will continue to be ongoing needs for those affected in the weeks, and especially the months, to come.  Many of them have no idea what they need at this time, so gift cards to grocery and home improvement stores can be very helpful, as they can make use of those as they figure things out.  There are several GoFundMe donation pages set up for these families, if you would like to give directly to them.  Here are some suggested links and ideas:
  • GoFundMe: This link is  a generic search for “Madison Heights, VA fundraisers,’ however at the time of posting (4/24/18), all but one result on the first page of results were for victims of the tornado (there’s another tornado victim fundraiser on the 2nd page of the results as well).  If you would like to give aid directly to the families, this can be a good option.
  • ElonStrong.com: Our friends at River Church have been actively involved in helping those affected from the first day.  Donations made through ElongStrong.com and AmherstStrong.com are primarily going to families with no insurance.
  • Gleaning For The World: GFTW has been partnering with local churches to minister to those displaced by these storms, particularly in providing emergency assistance to those are are victims of the tornado.  They have been distributing food and materials directly to the families and victims.
  • Through Northminster: Please put “Elon Strong” in the memo field of checks made out to Northminster, and we will direct those funds to those in need.
  • Gift Cards: Purchasing gift cards to Food Lion, Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot and various places like that are very helpful.  Many of these families have lost everything and don’t know what they need right now.  A gift card can be very helpful in allowing them to purchase what they need, when they realize they need or are ready for it.  Gift cards can be turned in to the Amherst County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Center in Amherst, to the church office, or placed in the offering plate on Sunday mornings.  Gift cards given to us will be passed along to Elon Presbyterian for them to give out directly to the community impacted.
  • Set A Reminder:  As with praying, set a reminder for a month or two, if not longer, from now.  There is always a large influx of donations in the immediate aftermath of disasters like this, but the needs last for months.
 

Volunteer

If you are looking to volunteer, we encourage you to contact Gleaning for the World to see when and where they are distributing materials.  Right now, we are not aware of other organizations that are actively looking for volunteers to help victims rebuild and repair.  If you know families impacted, we encourage you to contact them directly to see how you might be of service.  As we hear of opportunities, we will post them here and on our Facebook page.
 
Thank you for the wonderful ways you have already cared for our neighbors affected by the tornado, may God bless each of us as we seek to continue to be Christ’s hands and feet in caring for and loving them in the weeks and months to come.

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GFTW Seeking Volunteers for Monday, 4/23

Volunteers needed for Monday, April 23rd from 9 to 5 … Gleaning for the World plans to set up out of Elon Presbyterian’s parking lot again Monday to distribute supplies to those affected by the storm. We’re going to do things a bit differently this time around. We will send pickups and/or vans and SUVs – anything with substantial cargo space – along with two or three volunteers into the neighborhoods affected. The vehicles will be loaded with a good variety of the things we anticipate people may have need of. If we don’t have it, we’ll have it delivered later from the home base in the parking lot. We’ll need vehicles and/or volunteers in shifts more or less as follows: 9 – noon, noon – 2:30, 2:30 – 5. Please text or call David at 828.273.1003 to volunteer … or, just show up! Thanks in advance!

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Ways to Help With Tornado Cleanup

There are several ways to provide assistance and aid to those impacted by the tornado in Lynchburg and Elon.
 
If you would like to volunteer, please to go www.amherststrong.com.  Volunteers must be 16 years or older, and will have to sign a liability waiver.
 
Amherst County Chamber of Commerce is accepting disaster relief donations for individuals and families affected by the tornado.  You can find a list of what to donate and where to take it here: http://www.facebook.com/AmherstVAChamber/posts/10156431846504470.
 
Gleaning for the World is also actively involved in bringing aid to those affected.  If you would like to donate to Gleaning, please see the following link: https://gftw.org/central-va-tornado/.
 
We will update this post as more opportunities become available.
 
Thank you for caring and supporting our community!

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Pastor’s Corner – September 2017

Thank You!

My family and I would like to thank you all for the incredibly warm welcome you’ve extended to us. We are overwhelmed with the love and welcome gifts you’ve shared. Moving to a new community and church is always challenging, but you have made us feel at home. I wish we could give a personal thank you for every gift, but many of them didn’t say who they were from, so please accept this note, knowing that the sentiment behind it is far deeper than our words could ever convey.
 

Hurricanes, Floods, and What We Can Do

As I write this, the rain continues to fall on southeast Texas and the Gulf Coast. The quantities of rain are mind-boggling, and the images and videos are heartbreaking. With the water levels still rising, we don’t yet know how bad the damage will be or what relief efforts would look like. While we encourage you to be praying for those who need rescue as well as those doing the rescuing, we also want to be thinking about practical ways we can help. We have posted links to ministries and organizations we support that are already receiving donations to aid their efforts in recovery on our website (www.npcmh.com) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/npcmh).
 

What does the future hold?

Isn’t that what we all want to know? The truth is that, no matter how much we plan or prepare, no matter what we think the future will hold, ultimately only God knows the future. But I know this, I am very excited about what God has done over the past 59 years through Northminster, and I can’t wait to see what God has yet to do in and through us over the years to come. From the conversations I’ve had with many of you, I know you are as excited as I am. While I don’t know what the future holds, I know who holds the future. So I invite you to join me in setting our focus on Him, and Him alone.
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:2)

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